Athens, Greece: Inclusive City COVID-19 Response & Recovery

Mr. Kaminis, Member of Greek Parliament and Former Mayor of Athens, visiting refugee children at school.

Faced with an unprecedented number of migrant and refugee arrivals during his tenure as Mayor of Athens (2011-2019), Mr. Georgios Kaminis worked to mobilize all the forces of the city to devise smart solutions to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in his community. He launched the Athens Coordination Centre for Migrant & Refugee issues (ACCMR). This Centre serves as a coordination hub between actors working at the city-level including municipal bodies, local and international NGOs, and international organizations on issues ranging from temporary accommodation to the integration of newcomers. With this coordination infrastructure already in place, the ACCMR responded rapidly to COVID-19 to coordinate services for and share information with migrants and refugees in the city.

In March 2020, the ACCMR and member organizations created a public mapping tool of COVID-19 prevention and response services available to vulnerable groups, including of migrants and refugees. The objective of this map is “to provide the actors involved in the protection and integration of vulnerable groups — including refugees and migrants — with the necessary information so that they can cooperate more effectively.” Importantly the ACCMR prioritizes and aims to promote “services that are not limited to beneficiaries subscribed to specific programs, but instead are open to all vulnerable groups.”

Up to date lists of services, activities, and best practices are described in both Greek and English and tracked in a live Google Sheet. Service providers are listed in an interactive map by location. The mapping process was supported by the Communicating with Communities National Working Group and coordinated by Solidarity Now and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In June 2020, the ACCMR produced a report of their mapping project, which is still ongoing. Collecting information from 102 organizations, they found that between March 16 to May 4, 2020:

  • 63% services provided by ACCMR members to vulnerable groups remained active (164 services).
  • 30 new or enhanced services emerged, primarily in the fields of Information, Health, and Goods Provision.
  • 108 service programs were provided remotely through online applications, helplines, or other tools, primarily in the fields of Education and Learning, Legal Counseling, and Psychosocial Support.

ACCMR Infographics

ACCMR Service Mapping: Covid-19 Response

ACCMR Service Mapping: Covid-19 Response

The ACCMR collects and shares additional COVID-19 related information for community workers and beneficiaries, including:

  • Updates from the national government in six languages.
  • Q & As about COVID-19”   produced by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Greece in seven languages (Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Somali, Sorani, Urdu).
  • FAQs for Migrants – Spread the News, Not the Virus” podcast series in four languages (Arabic, Farsi, English, French) produced by Solidarity Now in cooperation with, the Greek podcast platform.

For more information and to see examples from other cities, visit


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