This month 800 people reached Greece from the land borders and 1,850 arrived on the Greek Aegean islands. This was lower than December’s 3,950 new arrivals. The harsh weather this month affected thousands of people staying in unheated shelter in the reception centres on the islands. The situation was better in mainland sites, overall better prepared for the cold.
By the end of January 2019, UNHCR had created 26,452 places in the accommodation scheme as part of the ESTIA programme. These were in 4,500 apartments and 19 buildings, in 14 cities and 6 islands across Greece. The Accommodation Scheme1 provides rented housing to vulnerable asylum-seekers and refugees in Greece. Urban accommodation helps restore a sense of normalcy and provides better access to services, including education and health. People are additionally supported by social workers and interpreters who help them access medical services, employment, language courses and recreational activities