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Migration and Home Affairs

Financial support from the EU

2014 – 2020 funding period

To ensure decent living conditions for asylum seekers, support integration projects, better manage borders, and other migration management projects, Greece receives financial support from the EU.

In the previous funding period that ran from 2014 to 2020, Greece benefited from:

  • €2.27 billion under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF),
  • €450 million under the Internal Security Fund (ISF)
  • €668.9 million from the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI)

How funding works

It is the Greek authorities who manage and implement EU funding from AMIF and ISF through national programmes agreed with the European Commission. This type of funding management is known as “shared management”.

But in case of urgent and unforeseen needs, financial support is channelled through Emergency Assistance (direct / indirect management). This funding is managed directly by the European Commission through grants to carry out specific projects. In total 75 projects have been financed:

  • 42 awarded to the Greek Authorities (approximately €820 million)
  • 33 awarded to international organisations (such as IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF) present in Greece (approximately €1.25 billion)

2021 – 2027 funding period

In the 2021-2027 programming period, the major part of the funds under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), the Border Management and Visa Policy Instrument (BMVI) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF) will be allocated under the EU countries’ Programmes approved by the European Commission. The three Greek Home Affairs Funds Programmes were approved in November 2022. The EU contribution of the initial allocation of the three programmes (represents 75% of the total amount) is the following:

  • €407.7 million under the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund
  • €1.05 billion under the Border Management and Visa Policy Instrument
  • €44 million under the Internal Security Fund

The Greek Programmes for the period 2021-2027 can be found on the website of the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum.

In addition to the above, Greece has benefited by approximately 70 million under the call for the submission of requests for additional funding through EU action grants under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) to provide support to the reception, asylum and return systems of Member States particularly exposed to migratory pressure at the EU external borders, which was published in January 2022. The following projects have been supported:

  • ‘Harmonizing Protection Practices in Greece (HARP)’, implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The project focuses on the provision of protection activities, mental health, psychological support, and skill-development in the mainland camps.
  • All Children in Education’ (ACE), implemented by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The project focuses on ensuring that all school-age refugee and migrant children find a pathway to formal education as well as to support and facilitate smooth access and the continuous attendance to school.
  • ‘Targeted support to key protection activities in Greece’, implemented by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Improved reception capacity and up-to-standard reception conditions

Funded initiativeBeneficiaryAmount of fundingFinancial instrumentGoal achieved
Site Management Support projectInternational Organization for Migration (IOM)€260 millionAMIF Emergency AssistanceSecure long-term accommodation and services to asylum seekers on mainland
New reception centres on Samos, Kos, Leros, Chios and LesvosGreek Ministry of Migration and Asylum€276 millionAMIF Emergency AssistanceNew reception centres with better living conditions and higher resident capacity
ESTIA cash assistance projectUNHCR€312 millionAMIF Emergency AssistanceAn allowance for asylum seekers to increase their independence


Most of the EU funding provides support to the Greek reception and accommodation system.

EU funding managed by the Greek authorities and international organisations currently provides accommodation to some 50 000 asylum seekers on the mainland. This includes long-term accommodation provided in sites and apartments, including in dedicated shelters for unaccompanied children, and in Semi Independent Living apartments for teenagers above 16 years old.

EU funding further improves reception conditions for people awaiting a decision on their asylum request on the Greek mainland and islands. This includes:


Funded initiativeBeneficiaryAmount of fundingFinancial instrumentGoal achieved
Accommodation for unaccompanied minors on Greek mainlandMinistry of Migration and Asylum€53 millionAMIF Emergency Assistance and AMIF National ProgrammeSet-up 2000 long-term accommodation places for unaccompanied minors
MERIMNA projectIOM€9.3 millionAMIF Emergency AssistanceSafe zones for unaccompanied minors in reception centres on Samos, Kos, Leros, Chios and Lesvos


  • Safe Zones for children, which provide a protected environment for unaccompanied children and teenagers.
  • Construction of new multi-purpose reception and identification centres on the five Aegean islands, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros.

Islands and mainland

  • protection activities towards the most vulnerable asylum seekers, including psychosocial counselling, legal aid, support in sex-gender-based violence (SGBV) cases
  • access to health services and deployment of medical experts to support migrant population
  • social, recreational and educational activities and access to formal education
  • projects that promote self-reliance
  • cash support to the asylum seekers in line with the Reception Conditions Directive

Fast and Fair Asylum Procedures

EU funding also contributes to fair and efficient asylum procedures on the Greek mainland and islands by:

  • training and staffing with 300 new as well as experienced Asylum Service staff 
  • the creation of fully equipped workstations and the deployment of interpreters

Integration into Greek society

Funded initiativeBeneficiaryAmount of fundingFinancial instrumentGoal achieved
HELIOS projectIOM€60 millionAMIF Emergency AssistanceThe largest integration project in Greece offering language and job integration courses, as well as rental subsidies for refugees
Education for minorsMinistry of Education€13.5 millionAMIF Emergency AssistanceEnabling access to education for minors under 15 years old


Besides relocations, it is important to provide long-term prospects to the recognised refugees and beneficiaries of international protection to integrate into the Greek society after they leave the reception system. This also aims to keep enough reception capacity for people still awaiting the decision of their asylum request.

EU funding supports integration measures focusing on:

  • language classes
  • soft skills training
  • job counselling
  • financial support for the rent of housing

Effective and sustainable returns

Funded initiativeBeneficiaryAmount of fundingFinancial instrumentGoal achieved
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration projectIOM€35.5 millionAMIF Emergency Assistance and AMIF National ProgrammeHelp people who wish to voluntarily return to their country and start a new life with financial and other support
Pre-departure centres for returning migrantsHellenic Police€12.3 millionAMIF National ProgrammeNew pre-departure centres where people stay before their forced return


EU funding contributes to the implementation of returns of those who are not eligible to stay from Greece to the countries of origin of migrants. More concretely, the support covers:

  • the operational costs of the Pre-departure Detention Centres in Greece and the costs of the returns
  • the operational costs of the Open Centre for the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration and the costs of these returns

EU funding coming from the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund and the Internal Security Fund has been channelled via:

  • Emergency Assistance awarded directly by the Commission for the implementation of a specific project.
  • The Greek National Programmes (75% EU contribution), where the Greek Authorities are responsible for the programming, implementation and monitoring of the projects. Additional information on the projects under the Greek National Programmes can be found on the dedicated website.