Yesterday, the Commission awarded a grant of €155 million to the Greek authorities to build new reception centres on the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios. This award comes on top of €121 million awarded in November 2020 for the construction of reception centres on the islands of Samos, Kos and Leros. This funding will finance the construction of new reception facilities that will provide adequate living conditions and operate with fast, fair and effective procedures, in accordance with EU law and European Asylum Support Office standards on reception facilities. Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, announced the award during her visit to the Greek islands of Lesvos and Samos. Together with the Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, they assessed progress of construction works of the new reception and identification centres on both islands. The Commissioner and the Minister participated in a joint press conference which is available to watch on EbS+. The multi-purpose reception centres will include accommodation facilities, with a designated area to support the needs of new arrivals, medical containers for immediate health care, safe zones for unaccompanied children and teenagers, recreational spaces for sports, playgrounds and spaces for education. The centres will operate an entry-exit control system. There will also be an adjacent, clearly separated closed detention area to ensure effective return operations. Now that the award is granted, the next step is for the Greek authorities to obtain the necessary permits and ensure swift preparation of the procurement process to contract the construction works. The project is part of a detailed plan agreed between the Commission, the Greek authorities and EU agencies to establish a new, up-to-standard reception centre on the island of Lesvos signed on 3 December 2020 and financed under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. A more detailed overview of the Commission’s support in managing the situation on the Greek islands is available in the Q&A and further details of financial support to Greece are available here.
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