MSF emergency clinic after Moria fire
Asylum seekers and refugees continue to arrive in Greece in search of safety, only to find themselves stranded indefinitely in the country.

Since the EU-Turkey deal in March 2016, migrants and refugees previously in transit through the Greek islands have been trapped for an indeterminate time in Reception and Identification Centres and Closed Controlled Access Centres. 

Our teams provides medical and mental healthcare to migrants in Athens and on the Greek islands of Lesvos and Samos. Our activities include sexual and reproductive healthcare, treating chronic diseases and providing care for survivors of sexual violence, psychological support and health promotion activities. On the islands of Lesvos and Samos we also provide emergency medical assistance to people in distress once they arrive by boat from Türkiye.

Our teams on Lesvos and Samos have reported overwhelming numbers of people suffering from serious mental health conditions while being contained on the islands. We have made repeated calls on the European Union and the Greek authorities to completely change their approach to migration, which is causing avoidable harm to the health and wellbeing of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.
 

Our activities in 2021 in Greece

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.

MSF in Greece in 2021 Restrictive EU and Greek migration policies continued to have a negative impact on the health and dignity of asylum seekers and migrants arriving in Greece in 2021.
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Cuts in spending on housing programmes for asylum seekers and the withdrawal of cash assistance for recognised refugees have meant that many more people face the risk of ending up living on the streets, with insufficient food or access to shelter and hygiene facilities. 

In 2021, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continued to provide mental health services, sexual and reproductive healthcare and social support to migrants and refugees on Lesbos and Samos islands. In June, we opened a clinic opposite the Mavrovouni centre on Lesbos to be closer to our patients. Our staff witnessed the severe impact that the precarious living conditions, arbitrary asylum procedures and fear of deportation were having on people’s physical and mental health. 

On Samos island, in September, the EU and Greece inaugurated a detention-like reception and identification centre in Zervou, an isolated area far from the main town. The centre is surrounded by three barbed-wire fences, and people’s movements are strictly controlled. Our team moved nearer the centre to make it easier for people to access care. Between August and November, we also offered first aid to people arriving on Samos by boat. This intervention enabled us not only to ensure people’s safe landing, but also to bear witness to their reception by the authorities. 

In Athens, we run a day centre for migrants, where social, legal and a range of healthcare services are available. In June, we launched a health promotion campaign to encourage and support migrants in Athens to register for COVID-19 vaccination. At the end of 2021, after seven years of operations, we closed our specialised clinic for victims of torture, referring patients still in need of treatment and long-term support to our day centre and other organisations. 
 

in 2021
Trapped in Moria
I am overwhelmed by the severity of each referral that arrives in my inbox… Dr Liz Clark, working in Moria, on the Greek island of Lesbos

“It is difficult to believe this is Europe”

 
Lesbos MSF forced to close Covid 19 facility
Greece

MSF forced to close COVID-19 centre on Lesbos

Press Release 30 Jul 2020
 
Yasin, 9 year-old boy in Moria
Greece

Greek government must end lockdown for locked up people on Greek islands

Project Update 16 Jul 2020
 
Refugees in Athens
Greece

Vulnerable refugees evicted and left to sleep on streets

Press Release 13 Jul 2020
 
Frederic*'s story
Greece

Using torture survival skills to cope during a pandemic

Voices from the Field 5 May 2020
 
MSF starts COVID-19 coronavirus activities in France
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

MSF steps up COVID-19 response in Europe

Press Release 30 Mar 2020
 
Lesbos and Samos Oct2019
Refugees, IDPs and people on the move

Evacuation of squalid Greek camps more urgent than ever over COVID-19 fears

Press Release 12 Mar 2020
 
Lesbos and Samos Oct2019
Greece

Greece, the ‘shield’ of Europe, and EU leaders push migrants into danger

Project Update 11 Mar 2020
 
Living conditions on Samos
Greece

EU must address migration emergency as Greek islands reach breaking point

Statement 4 Mar 2020
 
Children with Chronic diseases in Moria
Greece

Greece denies healthcare to seriously ill refugee children on Lesbos

Press Release 23 Jan 2020