On World Refugee Day, held every year on 20 June, we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees forced to flee their home. Around the world, communities, schools, businesses, faith groups and people from all walks of life are taking big and small steps in solidarity with refugees.
In Athens, on the occasion of this year’s World Refugee Day, we join forces in two events-meetings where we will create, discuss, learn, make proposals, search for solutions, play, photograph and sing, all together, sending a strong message of solidarity and peaceful coexistence.
The City of Athens recently took a major step in enhancing its support for refugees and migrants, by ratifying the Strategic Action Plan for the integration of migrants and refugees, as well as the Preparedness and Response Mechanism for the management of potential refugee crises. Both plans were developed by the Athens Coordination Center for Migrants and Refugee issues (ACCMR), which brings together 92 member organizations. The ACCMR’s operation was designed and coordinated by the Athens Partnership, with a founding grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
On Monday, November 5, the City of Athens invited representatives from 12 municipalities in Greece to Athens City Hall to set common targets for refugee integration into local communities, as well as share experiences and best practices.
The City of Athens with more than 14,000 people may currently be hosting the largest number of refugees in Greece, but more than 7,613 people in total live in municipalities in Central, Northern and Western Greece and Crete, as part of the 'ESTIA' accommodation program financed by the European Union's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).