How Local Responses to Humanitarian Emergencies Can Save Lives: Local CSOs and NGOs Step in to Fill Critical Humanitarian Response Gaps Left by the Greek Government
Author: Julie Meier, 2019.
“When the rapid influx of over 800,000 refugees to Greece occurred in 2015 (“UNHCR Greece Portal”), the Greek government was unable to respond appropriately to the unfolding humanitarian crisis that is still prevalent today. A governmental, or comprehensive formal international humanitarian response was completely absent at the beginning and height of the refugee emergency…”
Photo taken at Moria Refugee Camp in Lesvos, Greece – Courtesy of Julie Meier.
“Hurriyya,” which means freedom in Arabic, was often exclaimed by refugees reaching the shores of the Greek islands in 2014, 2015, and 2016, after making the dangerous journey across the Aegean Sea in overcrowded, unsafe rubber dinghies (Berry et al. 1). The refugees fleeing war-torn regions hoped to find freedom, protection, and safety in Europe. Instead, what most refugees found were barbed wires, inhumane conditions in camps, and detention. The over nine thousand refugees– men, women, and children – who have reached Greece in the early months of 2019 (“UNHCR Greece Portal”) have been similarly detained upon arrival.
The European Union (EU) has been viewed as a firm protector of human rights, presenting itself as a “beacon of human rights” (Barbulescu 301). However, looking at how refugees have been, and are, received in various European countries casts a dark shadow onto the character and identity of the EU. Despite being signatories to international human rights treaties and the Refugee Convention, which both provide critical rights to refugees, the EU has failed to defend and uphold such rights, especially in their handling of the ongoing refugee crisis (301). Protracted conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, as well as in central and north Africa, have displaced millions of people over the past years; over one million refugees have embarked on treacherous passages across the Mediterranean and Aegean seas (“UNHCR Mediterranean Portal”). This research paper focuses on the refugee influx to Greece that began in 2015 and discusses the subsequent localized and regionalized humanitarian response to the crisis by civil society and non-governmental organizations within the country. The paper specifically focuses on the island of Lesvos, which is a case illustrative of humanitarian responses on other islands and the Greek mainland (Skleparis and Armakolas 171). When the rapid influx of over 800,000 refugees to Greece occurred in 2015 (“UNHCR Greece Portal”), the Greek government was unable to respond appropriately to the unfolding humanitarian crisis that is still prevalent today. A governmental, or comprehensive formal international humanitarian response was completely absent at the beginning and height of the refugee emergency; as a result, this led to an informal but vital local humanitarian response by civil society organizations (CSOs) and small regional and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs),which were mostly established by volunteers and specifically for the refugee response.
This informal humanitarian response is analyzed in this paper, which includes how effective the CSO and NGO actors have been in filling humanitarian response gaps left by the Greek government, such as providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of refugees. The research question focuses on the effectiveness of CSOs and NGOs in providing humanitarian assistance to refugees in Greece – with a specific focus on Lesvos. To address this question, the paper is divided into two sections: Section one provides a review of the Greek response, or lack thereof, to the refugee crisis and evaluates the conditions and needs of refugees in Greece; Section two examines the local CSO and NGO response to the crisis, providing an analysis of the research question.
a) Greece’s failure to respond to the Refugee Crisis: 2015 – 2018
Greece’s challenge in dealing with refugees and asylum seekers is not a recent issue (McDonough and Tsourdi, 2012; Bolani et al. 83). Greece has faced “serious deficiencies during every stage of the refugee experience from arrival at the border through implementation of a final asylum decision” (McDonough and Tsourdi 67). During the asylum processes, ill-treatment of refugees and those seeking asylum has reportedly been common (68). According to research from 2012, Greece has had ongoing issues with meeting the needs of refugees. From receiving people at the border to processing their asylum cases, researchers have identified overcrowding as a primary challenge, which Greece has been unable to address due to issues in logistical capacity, resource limitations, and financial constraints (96). Even prior to the current refugee crisis, Greece failed to meet international standards concerning the processing and assisting of refugees (97). This section will illustrate that the aforementioned challenges still remain, as Greece continues to fail in protecting the fundamental rights of refugees and is unable to efficiently process asylum requests.
When over 800,000 refugees reached Greece in 2015 (“UNHCR Greece Portal”), the country was overwhelmed and failed to respond adequately to the needs of the refugees. According to Skleparis and Armakolas, Greece’s humanitarian response to the refugee influx was absent due to political unwillingness and financial constraints, which were largely the result of the Greek economic crisis. The new government, elected in January 2015, also underestimated the severity of the refugee crisis (172). Hence, over 800,000 refugees who sought protection in Greece in 2015, and those arriving during subsequent years, were not provided a humanitarian response by the government (Papada 85). Greece failed to provide immediate care and lacked both the will and capacity to efficiently and humanely process the arrivals and their claims for asylum.
In April 2016, when refugees continued to arrive in large numbers, an agreement between the EU and Turkey was reached to reduce the number of irregular arrivals in Europe (Burcalescu 302; Collyer and King 10; Sotiris and DeMond 62). The EU-Turkey deal primarily outsourced the refugee crisis to Turkey and Greece, forcing Greece to deal with the refugees alone. This happened as the rest of the EU closed its borders, further compounding the issue (McEwen 20). The agreement led to a severe deterioration of refugee protection in Greece, which was already low. As a result of this deal, thousands of refugees have since been trapped in unlawful conditions, held in overcrowded and under-resourced detention centers and camps on Greek islands (McEwen 20).
At the time of the EU-Turkey deal in 2016, the Greek government still did not engage in a humanitarian response and the deal seemed to aggravate the existing issues at hand. Even though the agreement decreased the number of people who arrived in Greece, it stipulated that refugees must seek asylum in the first country they reached. Due to Greece’s geographical location, this meant that refugees increasingly were required to register in Greece and were unable to seek protection in other EU countries (McEwen 22; Bundy 7). Hence, Greece became overwhelmed with the amplified number of asylum claims, holding refugees in camps where they faced, and continue to face, degrading conditions (McEwen 22).
According to Stavropoulou, EU asylum procedures contain a time-consuming asylum process. In 2015, due to complex procedures and limited capacity, Greece was only able to process approximately 1,500 asylum applications per month, which often was “less than half of the average daily inflow of refugees on the Greek islands” (7-8). This highlights that even though EU law necessitates “a full and fair asylum procedure,” this is far from the reality for most refugees in Greece (McDonough and Tsroudi 98). As the refugee crisis continued into 2016, Greece turned to the securitization and militarization of border control procedures, detaining refugees upon arrival. In addition, Greece aimed to shrink the humanitarian spaces on the islands that CSOs and NGOs had provided (Papada 2016), which worsened the humanitarian situation for refugees.
With Greece unable to respond to the humanitarian crisis in 2015 (with 861,630 arrivals) and 2016 (with 277,234 arrivals), more refugees arrived during the subsequent years. A total of 36,310 refugees arrived in 2017, and 50,511 arrived in 2018 (“UNHCR Greece Portal”). As of April 2019, 9,223 refugees have reached Greece (“UNHCR Greece Portal”). However, a comprehensive, rights-based response by the government continues to be absent.
b) The Conditions and Needs faced by Refugees in Greece: 2015 – 2018
The situations in which refugees in Greece find themselves are intolerable and continually aggravate their needs. The already degrading conditions in refugee camps continue to worsen, as refugees entirely depend on services provided by local CSOs, NGOs, and humanitarian organizations. Upon arrival on the Greek islands, refugees are detained and held in depleted refugee camps where they remain in a state of legal limbo (Sotiris and DeMond 68), facing unbearable circumstances (Dimitriadi 8). Due to the absence of a humanitarian response by the government, refugees arriving since 2015 have lacked, and continue lacking adequate accommodation, shelter, food, water, sanitation, health care, and legal services (Lamb 71; Dimitriadi 5,8; “Greece: Asylum Seekers Locked Up”; “Greece: Refugee Hotspots Unsafe”). These issues, along with reports of sexual abuse and mental health concerns, further aggravate the situation (“Greece: Refugee Hotspots Unsafe”; Magra 2018; Kingsley 2018). Additionally, the protracted wait times for the processing of asylum requests, which can take up to two years (Kingsley 2018), exacerbate frustrations among refugees and negatively affect their mental health. Holding refugees in depleted detention centers and camps on Greek islands (McEwen 20; Papada 2016), where refugees face conditions that compromise their mental health, re-traumatizes an already highly vulnerable refugee population (“Confinement, violence and chaos”).
One such detention center is the Moria refugee camp on Lesvos, often described as the most inhumane place for refugees in Europe. In 2018, it was reported that the Moria camp, with a capacity for 3,100, held over 9,000 people, with half of them being children (“Self-harm and attempted suicides increasing in Lesbos”). Located in a former prison facility, Moria is run by the Greek military. Due to the conditions under which refugees are forced to reside, including detention, deadly violence, overcrowding, and unsanitary conditions (Nye 2018), numerous international actors, including Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF), have suspended their operations at the camp. In their statement on the decision to suspend activities in Moria, MSF noted,
“from a registration centre allowing people to leave the islands and find protection somewhere in Europe, it has become a pre-removal centre offering insufficient guarantees for the respect of people’s basic rights. In such context, we fear our assistance is going to be instrumentalised to allow for a mass expulsion operation and this is not acceptable for our organisation”(“Why is MSF closing its Moria project on Lesvos”).
Hence, due to the retraction of larger NGOs such as MSF, CSOs and local NGOs are often the primary service providers at camps like Moria (“Why is MSF closing its Moria project on Lesvos”; Evangelinidis 34) – one example of many other lacking refugee facilities in Greece (“Greece: Move asylum seekers” ). Almost four years after the onset of the crisis, refugees remain in nebulous legal states, detained in degrading conditions without adequate assistance from the government. In 2018, reports highlighted a significant deterioration in mental health among refugees in Lesvos, specifically in Moria, manifesting in an increase in violence and suicide attempts, including by children (“Self-harm and attempted suicides increasing in Lesbos”), as well as untreated trauma (Magra. 2018; Kingsley 2018; Barberio 2018).During child mental health activities in Lesvos in 2018, MSF found “that nearly a quarter of the children (18 out of 74) had self-harmed, attempted suicide or had thought about committing suicide.” Others were found to be suffering from anxiety, constant nightmares, or panic attacks (“Self-harm and attempted suicides increasing in Lesbos”), which illustrates the deterioration in mental health, especially among refugee children and youth.
“Before, I thought that Greece would be one of the best places to live, now I feel it would have been better to drown while crossing the sea.” – Afghan refugee (Kingsley 2018)
The situation in Greece is serious, and humanitarian aid workers often compare the it with crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo or South Sudan, where high levels of human suffering have been witnessed (Lamb 71; Kingsley 2018). Greece and the EU, however, continue to neglect the ongoing crisis. Currently, they are failing to ensure refugee protection and are unwilling to uphold international laws and conventions at their own borders. Greece has failed to meet the refugee protection standards set out in the Refugee Convention (McEwen 22; Lamb 2016),including access to adequate living conditions, work and education opportunities, as well as health care services and access to a secure legal status (Dimitriadi 5). Hence, since the government has been unable and unwilling to ensure refugee protection, CSOs and NGOs have stepped in to provide emergency aid and long-term services to the refugees. The following section discusses some of the initiatives that began in 2015, which formed an informal, but life-saving humanitarian response.
a) The Local Response by Civil Society and NGOs to the Greek Refugee Crisis
Jeff Crisp writes that as states increasingly refrain from managing refugee issues, CSOs have taken a more present role in humanitarian emergencies and aided those in need (6). Crisp notes that “one of the most heartening developments of recent years has been the increasing vitality and engagement of civil society in relation to refugees” (7). He provides the example of Greece, where civil society actors have played central roles in shaping an effective response to refugee arrivals since 2015 (7). Addressed further in this section, CSOs and NGOs have been able to fill critical humanitarian response gaps left by the government and larger organizations in Greece.
CSO and NGO Response 2015 – 2018
During the refugee crisis in Europe, CSOs and local NGOs across the continent have stepped in where states have failed to meet the basic needs of refugees, providing shelter, health and psychosocial care, food and water, education, as well as legal aid. Greece CSOs and NGOs are a leading example of such efforts (“Policy Briefing” 1; Pries 9; Sotiris and DeMond 62; McDonough and Tsourdi 99-100; Evangelindis 34). When a new wave of refugees began to arrive in Greece in 2015, CSOs and small NGOs addressed the humanitarian needs of entering refugees, responding to the absence of effort on the part of the government and state institutions (Collyer and King 4). As soon as the Greek civil society sector realized the need for ‘emergency-based’ assistance in 2015, various CSOs began to aid the arriving refugees (Lazaridis and Veikou 2-3). Furthermore, as the crisis continued, small local and regional NGOs were formed, often by volunteers, to provide a wide range of services to arriving refugees (Chtouris and DeMond 61). The outpouring of support was so enormous that by November 2015, eighty-one NGOs were present on Lesvos alone, a number that increased daily during the height of the emergency (Lamb 70).
Larger NGOs and UN agencies were slow to respond to the Greek refugee crisis – having been preoccupied by other crises, while also underestimating the situation. Many larger agencies initially assumed that Greece could respond on its own (Lamb 73; Skleparis and Armakolas 172). Hence, in the absence of support from the government or any larger humanitarian organization in 2015 and early 2016, when the arrival numbers peaked at 7,000 refugees per day (Papada 2016), the informal response to the refugee crisis in Greece by CSO and NGO actors was integral to keeping refugees alive. Organizations such as Refugee Rescue, the Boat Refugee Foundation, and the Lighthouse Relief Foundation assisted in rescuing overcrowded dinghies in distress and attended to the refugees arriving at the shore, providing immediate relief including water, dry clothing, and blankets, as well as psychosocial first aid (Refugee Rescue 2019; Boat Refugee Foundation 2019; Lighthouse Relief Foundation 2019). Bolani et al. write that the informal response has been significant, as many organizations expanded their mandates to take over responsibilities that usually lie with the state. This included “the receiving, hosting, and assisting of refugees in Greece” (85; “Policy Briefing”1). The Greek CSO, Home for All, initially assisted in boat rescues, and since 2014 has been providing refugee housing, food assistance, as well as music and English lessons (“What we do”). Other essential services provided by CSOs and NGOs since 2015 – further referenced in the appendix – include: the rescuing of refugee boats; the provision of medical care, mental health psychosocial support (MHPSS), food, and water distributions; shelter; education aid; art programs; child-friendly spaces; as well as legal aid, translation, and interpretation support. The latter three services are indispensable for the asylum procedure, as the Greek government does not provide legal counsel, translation, or interpretation services (McDonough and Tsroudi 99). Legal aid, however, is critically important since every refugee and asylum seeker in Greece has legal needs. Bolani et al. state that especially during the first months of the crisis, the refugees were highly dependent on CSOs and local NGOs (85). Their presence, to date, remains equally essential for refugees.
During 2015, the response to the crisis was entirely informal and managed by CSOs, national, and regional NGOs. However, by mid-2016, the response became more professionalized when larger national and international NGOs arrived to address the crisis (Skleparis and Armakolas 173). After the EU-Turkey deal in March 2016, Greece, in coordination with the EU, began to employ a securitization approach, which meant that arriving refugees would be detained upon arrival (“Greece: Refugee Hotspots Unsafe”; “Greece: Asylum Seekers Locked Up”).At this time, the government hoped to transfer the responsibility of the humanitarian response to large international and national NGOs. However, in reaction to Greece’s securitization approach, organizations such as the UNHCR and MSF suspended many of their activities in the region, as they were unwilling to work in refugee camps that had been converted into detention centers (“Greece: Asylum Seekers Looked Up”;“Why is MSF closing its Moria project on Lesvos”). These developments made the CSO and NGO response extremely critical, as these actors remained active in detention-like camps, which held the majority of refugees (Meier 2016).
Today, the refugee response in Greece consists of efforts by CSOs, local and regional NGOs, as well as international humanitarian actors. However, many of the international organizations provide limited services and, at times, end or halt their activities due to government actions that conflict with their mandates. Hence, the continued response by CSOs and NGOs is vital, as these actors have remained fully engaged since 2015, adjusting their operations and services based on refugee needs (highlighted further in table 1 in the appendix). For example, Humanity Crew, a small NGO, initially provided psychosocial first aid on rescue ships and on Greek shores and later amended its mandate to provide psychosocial and mental health services in refugee shelters and camps once this need became more prevalent in the crisis (“About Us”).
|On mental health issues – Mental health is a primary issue among refugee populations, as refugees often face trauma through all stages of their flight (Roberts et al. 6, 8). Part b. of section one highlighted the deteriorating mental health situation for refugees on the Greek islands. Refugees in Greece, and particularly on the islands, are being re-traumatized due to their confinement (“Confinement, violence and chaos”). Thus, because the government has failed to aid the refugees, the provision of health and mental health services has fallen to CSOs and NGOs. Together with international humanitarian actors, CSOs and NGOs have been providing psychological aid to refugees across Greece in various settings, trying to fill a significant gap left by the inaction of statutory agencies (Roberts et al., 2). The provision of MHPSS services, however, is still not expansive enough, as the responding organizations lack capacity and resources to reach all refugees in need (Daod 2018). For example, MSF suspended its services in Moria after the 2016 EU-Turkey deal, leaving one single regional NGO to handle the many severe mental health cases in the camp (Meier 2016). In addition, Essam Daod from Humanity Crew stated that for the past two and a half years, he has been one of few child-psychiatrists in refugee camps, on Greek shores, and in rescue boats (2018). Both examples illustrate the urgent need for increased MHPSS services in Greece to address the growing need. Sustained access to MHPSS must be ensured for refugees to enhance and ensure their resilience and well-being.|
b) Discussion and Analysis
The above section illustrated the criticality of local actors such as CSOs and NGOs in providing humanitarian assistance to refugees when host governments are unable or unwilling to respond. The informal and localized provision of humanitarian aid to refugees in Greece by CSOs and NGOs has been effective in filling humanitarian response gaps left by Greek authorities as well as by some international humanitarian actors. This is particularly relevant to the beginning and height of the crisis, where in addition to the government, the main humanitarian actors remained absent as hundreds of thousands of refugees reached Greece in search of protection and safety. Since 2015, the local response has, to the best of its ability, ensured that the arrival of refugees is adequately handled, allowing them to receive immediate basic services and emergency medical care. In addition, once the refugees are transferred and held in camps, the local response has not only been providing basic services such as food, but has also addressed more complex refugee needs, including education, health care, and psychosocial care.
Even though international organizations stepped in to provide humanitarian assistance in 2016, their response has not been comprehensive enough to fully address the crisis. Hence, the need for a local response by CSOs and NGOs has remained. CSOs and NGOs have been essential to the response due to their immense reach within the refugee community and willingness to adapt their services to address needs, when required. Without the wide range of services provided by CSOs and NGOs – who continue to assist refugees in reaching the shores, provide mental health care services in camps, and run educational programs across Greece – thousands of refugees stranded in Greece would be in an even more precarious situation than they are today.
While the informal response has not been able to completely address the suffering of refugees, the response has alleviated some of the severe human suffering, while continuing to do so by providing urgently needed services that fill critical response gaps left by the government. The informal response has also saved lives, especially concerning sea rescues, as CSO and NGO rescue operations have constantly driven into the sea to aid capsizing refugee boats – an effort that continues today (Refugee Rescue 2019; Lighthouse Relief Foundation 2019).
The informal and local humanitarian response to the refugee crisis in Greece highlights the importance of civil society as well as local or regional NGO actors in emergency crises, which are often overlooked in humanitarian settings (Autesserre 2014). Without their efforts and commitment, any form of response to the refugee crisis in Greece in 2015 would have been absent. Additionally, without the presence of local actors, today’s response would be less effective in reaching those most in need. The Greek example highlights that localized responses must be strengthened and supported by the global humanitarian response community, as the refugee crises of today require the work and cooperation of both local organizations and prominent humanitarian actors.
Since 2015, CSOs, as well as local and regionally established NGOs, have provided essential humanitarian emergency assistance to thousands of refugees in Greece, while any larger governmental or international response has been absent or insufficient. Presently, the localized and informal response remains critical, as the complex needs of the refugees are increasing and their situations and living conditions are quickly deteriorating. The local humanitarian response established to assist refugees in Greece has been effective in filling critical response gaps left by the Greek government and its statutory organizations; however, the humanitarian crisis remains.
While the local response has been crucial in filling humanitarian response gaps, the overall response to the refugee crisis in Greece is lacking, given that the severe needs of the refugees cannot be addressed in full by an informal response. This is especially due to the government’s securitization and militarization approach, which has led to the detention of refugees under concerning circumstances. However, given the large scale of the crisis, the government and the EU’s continued neglect, a shortage of humanitarian actors present, and few donors willing to address the crisis, the informal response by CSOs and NGOs has provided a much-needed alternative to a more comprehensive response that addresses the urgent needs of refugees in Greece. Local CSOs and NGOs are also the only groups that have been, and continue to be, uninterruptedly willing to respond to a crisis that has been mostly overlooked by Europe.
Refugees in Greece, who have fled war and persecution to find safety and protection in Europe, have instead experienced a denial of their fundamental human rights. The refugee emergency in Greece is severe; lives are at risk and the crisis must be given urgent attention, especially because of the exacerbated mental health emergency among the refugee population. While local actors continue to provide humanitarian assistance, a broad political solution is needed. The Greek government and the EU must take comprehensive and immediate action to save lives and uphold the human rights that the EU is committed to affirming. The EU must begin to implement a long-term solution for the refugees, which ensures their dignity, well-being, and safety.
Ending the humanitarian crisis and human rights violations that occur in Greece, and particularly on the Greek islands, is a necessity, as refugees in Greece are denied safety, security, and freedom, living in undignified and degrading circumstances. While it remains unknown when Greece and the EU will begin to act ethically and morally, what is known is that until they do, local actors and NGOs will continue to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to the largely neglected population of refugees in Greece.
Greece currently holds the highest number of protection-seeking persons reaching Europe during the first months of 2019. In Italy, 623 persons reached the mainland, in Malta 138 persons arrived, in Cyprus 124 persons arrived, and 7,333 persons reached Spain (“UNHCR Mediterranean Portal”).
In this paper, prominent international NGOs (e.g., MSF, the International Rescue Committee, or the Norwegian Refugee Council) are referred to as either international NGOs or larger NGOs. They are also referred to when discussing humanitarian actors, which includes UN agencies.
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Table 1: Examples of CSO and NGOs responding to the humanitarian crisis in Lesvos, Greece
|Advocates Abroad||US/Greek NGO, registered in Greece||Provide services in camps and shelters: legal aid provision; legal and non-legal information sessions; legal aid clinics; advocacy; interpreting services.||2016 – Present|
|Boat Refugee Foundation||Regional NGO founded to respond to the crisis on Lesvos (Dutch)||Provided rescue services along Greek coasts until 2016.
Currently provides structural services in camps such as MHPSS, medical, and education aid.
|2015 – Present|
|Better Days||Regional NGO founded to respond to the refugee crisis (Swiss)||Run a support hub for children and families; provide non-formal education to children and women in Moria; provide PSS with a focus on GBV cases.||2016 – Present|
|Eliaktida||Greek CSO||Provide accommodation spaces in Lesvos; support unaccompanied minors not held in Moria; provide support to PwD and vulnerable groups.||1997 – Present
Became a UNHCR and UNICEF partner in 2016
|Equal Rights Beyond Borders||Regional NGO founded to respond to the refugee crisis (Germany)||Provide legal support; act against illegal rejections of asylum claims since 2019.||2016 – Present|
|Greek Council for Refugees||Greek NGO, CSO||Provide legal and social aid, as well as first reception support on the mainland and islands that receive refugees; support family reunification.||1989 – Present|
|Greek Forum of Refugees||Greek NGO||Provide legal aid; raise awareness; conduct advocacy; work on rights protection.||2015 – Present|
|Humanity Crew||Israeli NGO||Provided PSS first aid across Lesvos; provide MHPSS in refugee camps and shelters on mainland.||2015 – 2017 in Lesvos
2018 – Present in Athens
|Home for All||Greek CSO and NGO||Initially assisted in boat rescues; currently provide food assistance; PSS activities; and education services in Lesvos.||2014 – Present|
|Kara Tepe||Greek organization||Manage a refugee camp; host over 1,200 refugees.||2015 – Present|
|Lighthouse Relief||Regional NGO founded to respond to the crisis on Lesvos (Swedish)||Engage in search and rescue services; provide support and basic aid to new arrivals; provide emergency food assistance and dry clothing upon refugee arrival.||2015 – Present|
|Lesvos Solidarity||Greek CSO, NGO||Run a local camp; an arts center; a medical center; and provide PSS services.||2016 – Present|
|Lesvos Legal Center
|Greek CSO, NGO||Provide legal aid||2016 – Present|
|Praksis||Greek NGO||Provide housing for refugees, asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors; run mobile medical clinics at borders; provide emergency health services.||2008 – Present|
|Refugee Rescue||Regional NGO founded to respond to crisis in Lesvos (UK)||Engage in search and rescue operations; boat spotting; onshore response; humanitarian advocacy.||2015 – Present|
|Refugee Legal Support||Regional NGO founded to respond to the refugee crisis (UK)||Pro-bono law clinic (mainly in Athens): provide free asylum; family reunification assistance; and skills development workshops.||2017 – Present|
|Rowning Together||Regional NGO founded to respond to the refugee crisis (Spain)||Provide medical services in Mora: basic care; gynecological care; and pediatric care.||2016 – Present|
|Solidarity Now||Greek CSO, NGO||Provide education aid; run solidarity centers; emergency shelter assistance; and family support.||2013 – Present|