New migrant reception centre funded in Greece
Funding from the EEA and Norway Grants will be used to set up a new reception centre on the island of Lesvos, as part of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway's contribution to alleviate the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
'A growing number of people are attempting to enter Europe from the Turkish mainland via the islands of Greece. It is crucial that all migrants are registered and that their rights are upheld. All the countries of Europe have a shared responsibility in this context,' said Minister of EEA and EU Affairs of Norway, Vidar Helgesen.
Through the EEA and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will use around €1.6 million to fund the day-to-day running of the reception centre on the island of Lesvos for a one-year period. This will enhance the reception capacity of Greece for migrants. The centre is due to open later this year.
At the same time, the three donor countries are extending their support for a similar reception centre in north-eastern Greece (Fylakio, near the Turkish border) for a further year, until 2017.
The funds will be allocated from the asylum programme already financed in Greece, which has a total budget of €20.9 million.
This asylum programme already supports:
- the running of four reception centres with a total of 272 places, earmarked for members of vulnerable groups, particularly unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors;
- 200 places at the reception centre in Fylakio;
- the development and running of the new asylum administration service in Greece;
- the voluntary return of asylum seekers who are not granted a residence permit.
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration cooperates with the asylum authorities in Greece and others on the implementation and follow-up of the various projects.