In a hidden apartment in one of Athens’ poorest neighborhoods, scores of migrant women and small children who have been left vulnerable as a result of the reduction in the number of refugee support programs in Greece wait in line for food donations.
Niger’s Deniz Yobo, who is 33 years old and lives alone, recently went grocery shopping and bought enough rice, lentils, flour, honey, and biscuits to stock her kitchen cabinets for the next 30 days.
Yobo, a single parent who is raising her two children, had her meager wage nearly wiped out by the skyrocketing cost of living in Greece this year. Yobo is a mother of two.
She gets by on her earnings as a part-time cleaner, which come to less than 500 euros ($550) per month. This is just enough money to cover her monthly rent of 350 euros.
According to what she shared with AFP, “often, by the middle of the month, I no longer have enough money to feed my sons.”
As a response to the increasingly hostile environment that migrants face across Europe, Greece has been gradually cutting the advantages it provides to people seeking asylum and refugees.
Once a person is recognized as a refugee, they are no longer eligible to receive financial support of a few hundred euros (dollars) per month.
Athens brought to an end in December a program that had been supported by the European Union and had provided tens of thousands of refugees with rental housing over the course of the previous seven years.
Notis Mitarachi, who served as the minister of migration at the time, stated at the time that “the programme has completed its mission,” adding that the “few” claimants had been relocated to “modern” camps.
One of the people sent out onto the street as a result of the transfer was Fahima, an Afghan lady in her thirties.
After a number of months of searching, she and her mother eventually located housing in a cramped studio apartment shared by a total of eight other people.
The asylum request that was submitted by Fahima, who has been living in Greece for the previous six years, was denied.