• Photo: Sara Hylton/Mercy Corps

The context

As huge populations of people fled crises in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries, they arrived in Greece in desperate need of basic necessities. Although many of them sought new homes in other European countries, others got stuck in Greece after borders to other countries were closed to new refugees.

  • More than 1.1 million people arrived on the shores of Greece between 2014 and 2018.
  • More than 67,000 refugees and migrants remain in Greece as of December 2018.

Our work

Our work in Greece ended in 2018. We were the first organisation to provide cash cards to families newly arriving in Europe — we also provided emergency shelter and hygiene kits. While refugees waited in camps and hoped to someday move on, we offered safe spaces and helped strengthen local economies.

  • Emergency response: We provided cash support to refugees to meet their urgent needs
  • Youth development: We helped young people heal from trauma and build relationships through youth centers that offered recreational activities, art therapy, and life skills training. We also provided practical vocational training and skills to help youth integrate with Greek society and have better options for education and livelihoods.
  • Innovations: We partnered with Google and IRC to design and manage, an information portal for displaced arrivals into Europe, which has up-to- date, location-specific information in four languages for refugees in Europe. The site provides information about the registration process, available lodging, transportation options and emergency services.
  • Women and gender: We helped girls overcome extreme stress by offering safe spaces and community systems to protect women and girls.

Our impact

11,000 people received
pre-paid debit cards

70,000 refugees accessed our site