• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 310,000 People exposed [?]
  • 97,000 People displaced [?]



Since 2014 Greece has been an important country of first arrival and transit for refugees from the Middle East. In 2015 alone, almost one million people crossed from the Turkish coast to the Greek Aegean islands to seek international protection in Europe. ?

The combined effect of the 2016 EU-Turkey deal and the closure of the borders in Eastern European countries has caused a significant decrease in arrivals. Still, at least 50,000 people arrived in Greece in 2018, either by sea or by land. Of those, more than 70% were from three countries: Afghanistan (40%), Syria (24.4%), and Iraq (18%).?

By August 2019, an estimated 88,750 refugees and migrants were still in Greece; of those, 13,600 were living on the islands, and 41,100 on the mainland. ?Reception centres on some of the islands remain overcrowded, with many refugees living in unsuitable tents or makeshift shelters. At the end of December 2018, the migrant population in Samos was five times over the centre’s capacity. As of August 2019, some 25,600 people had newly arrived in Greece in 2019.  ?

Latest Developments


02/10: Tensions are rising in Moria camp on the island of Lesvos. On 29 September, riots broke out after a fire in the camp killed a woman and her child. Residents reportedly started the fire to protests the inhumane living conditions in the camp and to demand a transfer to the mainland. Moria, designed for 3000 people, currently hosts between 12,000-13,000 people. An upsurge of refugee and migrants flows from Turkey since the start of the summer increased the burden on the camps of the islands. In September, more than 12,000 people arrived in Greece representing the highest number of arrivals in three years since the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal in March 2016. Following the riots, the government announced it wants to return 10,000 migrants to Turkey by the end of 2020 which would be an increase from the 1,805 returned since 2015. The change in policy indicates a more hard-line approach to the migrant situation by Greece’s recently elected conservative government. ?