Young refugees in Greece face losing their shelter due to funding shortfall

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By Euronews
Greece is home to over 60,000 refugees, some are unaccompanied minors
Greece is home to over 60,000 refugees, some are unaccompanied minors

Emergency accommodation for around 200 unaccompanied minor refugees in Greece is under threat of closure according to the NGO that runs the shelters.

ARSIS (Association for the Social Support of Youth) is facing a serious problem with funding for its seven guesthouses for unaccompanied minors, due to what it says is the inability of the Ministry of Economy to complete the required administrative procedures in time and to proceed with their financing.

ARSIS says it has not received any funding from the Greek government since October 2017 and the rent is due. ARSIS workers haven't been paid for 14 months.

"We don’ t know if the baker we’ll bring us bread," shelter coordinator Dimitra Arvanitaki told euronews.  "Our workers, our employees have reached their limits. They cannot pay their rent, they cannot pay their bills. If the issue is not solved, I'm afraid that we will have to close down this guesthouse."

The Ministry of Economy and Development told euronews that many NGO’s have not sufficiently accounted for their spending for 2017. Some have not submitted all the necessary documents for 2018, and many applications have serious deficiencies. ARSIS says it's fulfilled all the requirements.

"Αuthorities owe the 2017 payments and we would like to know why this is happening, said Zoe Kokalou, ARSIS Communications Manager. "For 2018, we haven’t taken any money. So they owe us three months and April is the 4th month. My colleagues have not given up and the children have shown incredible patience."

"About 60,000 refugees remain trapped in Greece. The European Union and the Greek government are funding a series of actions to improve their living conditions.