PROJECT TITLE: Support to the national COVID-19 response plan for the protection of the most vulnerable

DURATION OF THE PROJECT: 6 months from July to December 2020

IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD: 20.07.2020 – 31.12.2020


FINANCED BY: Swiss Development Cooperation SDC through MdM- Suisse


Project’s Briefing

With more than seven million confirmed cases worldwide and 400 000 deaths[1], the current outbreak of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) represents an unprecedented and growing public health challenge.

Greece counts more than 3 000 confirmed cases for 180 deaths[2]. Three settlements housing migrants have already reported cases[3], while the spread of COVID-19 among the Greek host community, continues. By mid-May, there were 197 confirmed cases among the country’s asylum seekers – including the first cases ever detected among asylum seekers on Lesbos island. At the same time and due to concurrent crises -namely the internal Greek socioeconomic crisis and the reception of Refugees and Migrants crisis- the country faces critical shortages of testing capacity, ICU beds, HR and protective equipment. As well, available health services are highly concentrated in urban centres.

The project targets asylum seekers living in centres, apartments[4], hotels.[5] At the same time, it carefully balances support in view of cultivating peaceful coexistence between hosting and hosted populations: several of the proposed health services will be made available to both asylum seekers and the Greek host community.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the reinforcement of the NHS capacities to respond adequately to the COVID-19 pandemic while protecting and building the resilience of the most vulnerable.

It includes info and awareness activities as well as medical screening and follow up of the most complicated cases in an effort to provide an adequate mode of health coverage. Aside physical health consultations the project also foresees remote psychosocial assistance (PFA included) provided by specialists; it wears gender lenses and mainstreams a “do no harm approach”.


[1] Situation as of 08.06.2020:

[2] Situation as of 08.06.2020:

[3] The camps of Malakasa, Ritsona and the settlement of Kranidi. In the latter, 150 cases – among both migrants and humanitarian personnel – were detected in the span of a single visit, for a total population of 470.

[4] UNHCR put in place in 2016 a housing programme with apartments for migrant families and vulnerable migrants.

[5] In April 2020, UNHCR launched a new housing programme with hotels for identified vulnerable cases among asylum seekers: the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic conditions.