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Parliamentary questions
30 March 2017
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission

Greek authorities can finance the provision of medicines and vaccines for refugees through their Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and Internal Security Fund (ISF) national programmes. Their implementation is the responsibility of the competent Greek authorities, in accordance with the principle of shared management. The Commission is actively supporting the Greek authorities in their efforts to ensure an effective and efficient use of their allocation under these funds.

Substantial Emergency Assistance from both funds has also been awarded directly to Greek authorities(1), including the Ministry of Health (MoH). The use of emergency assistance is monitored by the Commission through reports, on-the-spot visits, and notably when assessing the final report of the action.

Healthcare activities have also been supported through the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI). Three humanitarian organisations(2) are funded to provide basic healthcare, psycho-social support and referrals to hospitals to the migrant populations, including on Lesvos(3), for a total of EUR 15 million. These partners and other health actors have their own, facility based, pharmacies to provide drugs — purchased at Greek pharmacies/wholesalers or imported — to the migrants. While vaccines are largely provided by the MoH, the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), with ESI funding, has also supported the MoH in purchasing the vaccines when needed.

As concerns shortages of medicines in Greece, the Commission has limited competence to deal with specific situations in Member States as regards health policy, healthcare and the organisation of health services. However, the Commission supports Member States in the EU Health Security Committee with guidance on vaccination against a range of vaccine-preventable diseases, facilitating mutual assistance among Member States in case of shortages.

(1)Complete overview: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/background-information/20170321_factsheet_managing_refugee_crisis_eu_financial_support_greece_-_update_en.pdf
(2)International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Médecins du Monde and Women and Health Alliance International as implementing partner of Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland.
(3)On Lesvos, the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations is funding through ESI IFRC to provide psycho-social support. Primary and secondary healthcare is provided by Save the Children with UNHCR funding.

Last updated: 4 April 2017Legal notice