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Asylum seekers and refugees continue to arrive in Greece in search of safety, only to find themselves stranded indefinitely in the country.

Since the EU-Turkey deal in March 2016, migrants and refugees previously in transit through the Greek islands have been trapped for an indeterminate time in Reception and Identification Centres and Closed Controlled Access Centres. 

Our teams provides medical and mental healthcare to migrants in Athens and on the Greek islands of Lesvos and Samos. Our activities include sexual and reproductive healthcare, treating chronic diseases and providing care for survivors of sexual violence, psychological support and health promotion activities. On the islands of Lesvos and Samos we also provide emergency medical assistance to people in distress once they arrive by boat from Türkiye.

Our teams on Lesvos and Samos have reported overwhelming numbers of people suffering from serious mental health conditions while being contained on the islands. We have made repeated calls on the European Union and the Greek authorities to completely change their approach to migration, which is causing avoidable harm to the health and wellbeing of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.

Our activities in 2022 in Greece

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2022.

MSF in Greece in 2022 Restrictive EU and Greek migration policies continued to have a negative impact on the health and dignity of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants arriving in Greece in 2022.
Greece IAR map 2022

Throughout the year, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff witnessed the severe toll that precarious living conditions, arbitrary asylum procedures and fear of deportation was taking on people’s physical and mental health.  

Our teams continue to work on Lesbos and Samos islands, and in Athens, providing general healthcare, treatment for chronic diseases, psychological and psychiatric support, and sexual and reproductive health services, with a focus on survivors of sexual violence. Social and legal assistance is also available in our projects.  

On Samos, we run a day centre in Vathi, supporting the medical needs of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants. We also provided general healthcare through mobile clinics within the Samos Closed Controlled Access Centre (CCAC).  

On Lesbos, MSF works in a clinic opposite the Mavrovouni CACC. During 2022, we offered emergency medical and psychological first aid to new arrivals on the island and organised ambulance referrals to the hospital for those needing further care. This intervention enabled us not only to ensure people’s safe landing, but also to bear witness to their reception by the authorities. 

In Athens, our day centre offers a range of healthcare and social and legal services for migrants excluded from the national health system. Social workers and cultural mediators help patients navigate the healthcare system and ensure their basic needs are met, while legal experts give advice on their human rights.

In addition, mobile clinics provide basic healthcare, sexual and reproductive health services and health promotion to people living in precarious conditions in the city, and in seven refugee camps in Attica region. For the first half of 2022, we ran our Access to Vaccination Against COVID-19 project, aiming to facilitate access to vaccinations for excluded migrants and refugees residing in these locations. 


in 2022
Militarised Polish-Belarus border Kozie Borki natural park
Refugees, IDPs and people on the move

Death, despair and destitution: The human costs of the EU’s migration policies

Report 20 Feb 2024
Emergency Medical Aid (EMA) for new arrivals in Samos, Greece

In plain sight: the human cost of migration policies and violent practices at Greek sea borders

Report 2 Nov 2023
Emergency Medical Aid in Samos

Asylum seekers in Greece report being beaten, strip-searched and sent back to sea

Press Release 2 Nov 2023
Rotation 32 - Rescue 1

EU migration policies are once again killing people as they search for safety

Press Release 30 Jun 2023
Three people found handcuffed, four injured on the Aegean island of Lesvos (MSF)

Pushbacks, detention and violence towards migrants on Lesbos

Press Release 25 May 2023
Rotation 20 Rescue 1
Refugees, IDPs and people on the move

EU leaders continue to push through deadly policies for migrants

Project Update 12 May 2023
Marvellous Nzenza with her mother Jacqueline and MSF social worker Relative Chitungo
International Women's Day

Overcoming taboos to ensure women's sexual health

Project Update 2 Mar 2023
MSF mobile clinic in the Closed Control Access Centre in Zervou, Samos.

Closed centres for refugees on Greek islands exacerbate psychological trauma

Project Update 30 Nov 2022
Three people found handcuffed, four injured on the Aegean island of Lesvos (MSF)

People found handcuffed and injured on the Greek island of Lesvos

Press Release 25 Oct 2022

Contact us

Lesbos Mobile Clinic - Moria Camp