map of Greece

In 2015, increasingly large numbers of asylum seekers started to flow through Greece on their way to Western Europe seeking refuge. Authorities in Greece were rapidly overwhelmed as over 850,000 arrived on the beaches. Routes became more and more treacherous and risky, with the Aegean sea in particular becoming a graveyard for countless families, especially children. IsraAID is responding to this crisis as it evolves.



Crossed the Sea in 2015
Top 3 Nationalities
Syrian, Afghan, Iraqi
Arrived in 2016 (Q1)
Dead/Missing in 2016
Syrians Internally Displaced
Syrian Refugees Globally
% of Syrian Refugees in Greece

IsraAID and Greece

A part of our larger "Global Asylum Seeker Crisis Response" program, the efforts in Greece started in early September 2015 in response to the massive movement of populations through Greece seeking refuge and a better life in Western Europe. Greek authorities and the international community have been overwhelmed, pushing IsraAID to send a significant number of predominantly Arabic-speaking teams to Lesvos island, where the bulk of refugees are arriving, and to the northern border with North Macedonia. 

Click here for the "Island of Tears" video on the work of one of our teams receiving refugees on the beaches of Lesvos island.

These special mobile units are providing immediate aid, medical services, and Psychosocial First Aid (PFA), as well as distributing emergency supplies and identifying special needs and particularly vulnerable groups, especially children. The situation is extremely fluid and changing. Check back for more information, or visit our FB page for updates.

Our Projects


Emergency Aid on Lesvos Island

Medical and Psychological First Aid

Since September 2015, IsraAID has sent over 60 medical and psycho-social professionals to Lesvos island to support the emergency medical and psychological needs of the refugees that are arriving via dangerous routes. Boats are often lost to the sea, and thousands of lives have been lost to fake life vests and the raging Aegean, many of whom were children. IsraAID's majoritarily Arabic speaking mobile relief teams meet them on the beach to assess their medical condition and provide treatment as well as emotional support. The teams also tasked with grief counselling for those who lost family members on the way, or that carry the scars of more than 5 years of war


  • Assist families upon arrival on the beach
  • Provide emergency medical treatment
  • Distribute basic supplies
  • Grief counselling
  • Trauma Prevention

Mobile Relief on the Northern Border

Food, Supplies, and medical/psychological support

As the transit routes through Europe change, and an increasing number of borders are closed, the asylum seekers find themselves more and more vulnerable to traffickers, abuse, and difficult weather. Families are often divided, special needs groups ignored, and children disappear, while tensions rise and violence and riots become nearly daily occurences. IsraAID has medical and psychological professionals on the ground (Arabic and Farsi speaking) to support the immediate needs of those arrriving on the now closed border between Greece and Macedonia (Fyrom). Working together with national and international partners, they are reaching those with the most needs, and trying to identify those most vulnerable.


  • Emergency Relief (food, water, blankets, clothing)
  • Psychological First Aid
  • Medical services
  • Identification and referral of special cases