© Alessandro Penso


Thousands of migrants and refugees are stranded on the Greek islands, without access to basic services, adequate shelter or information on their legal status

MSF's response to coronavirus in Greece

We are fighting the coronavirus pandemic in Greece. To get the most up-to-date information about our operations, visit our COVID-19 hub.

Donate to our coronavirus appeal >


Located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Greece is a major entry point for refugees and migrants making the journey to Europe.

Click the map to expand

Until March 2016, thousands of people fleeing war and persecution were arriving on Greek islands every day before continuing their journeys across Europe.

However, the closure of the Balkan route and the EU deal with Turkey in March left migrants and refugees stranded, without access to basic services, adequate shelter or information on their legal status.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) first began working with refugees in Greece in 1996.

Migrants and refugees continue to be the focus of MSF activities on the Greek mainland and the islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios.

Today, our attention is focused towards Greece’s Dodecanese islands – the islands where many refugees first make land in desperate conditions – and on the border with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.


Greece: Key information

Greek islands

MSF has been running a clinic on Lesbos providing primary healthcare, treatment for chronic diseases, sexual and reproductive health services and mental health support since October 2016. Since August 2017, the team has focused on the needs of survivors of torture and sexual violence, and people with severe mental health conditions.

On Samos, we run a temporary shelter for up to 80 people for families of pregnant women, newborns or single parents. We also provide mental health support to patients and, in partnership with the Greek Council for Refugees, offer individual legal assistance.

In December 2017, we started working on the island of Chios, providing cultural mediation services at the local hospital.


We have been running three clinics in Athens to respond to the specific needs of migrants and refugees. In the day centre, we provide sexual and reproductive healthcare, mental health support and treatment for chronic diseases. Our teams also run a travel medicine clinic to provide support to people moving on from Athens.

In a second centre we offer comprehensive care to survivors of torture and other forms of violence. The clinic uses a multidisciplinary approach including medical and mental healthcare, physiotherapy, social assistance and legal support.

  • {{ fact.node.field_facts }} {{ fact.node.field_facts_units }} {{ fact.node.field_post_fact }}

    {{ fact.node.field_facts_explanation }}

{{{ labels.voicesfrom }}} {{ country }}