Although refugees living in camps make up the vast majority of those displaced people in need, a
small number of especially vulnerable people are rehoused to one of Chios’ UNHCR sponsored
apartments located elsewhere on the island. Refugees are granted apartments on a needs basis, and
successful applicants have to fall under at least one of the criteria that class them as “vulnerable”;
disability, critical mental health, chronic illness or pregnancy. Apartments can provide an essential
privacy and safety for the residents; however, loneliness and isolation are a seriously detrimental
symptom of the move. Relief charities often operate with camp’s inhabitants as their focal point,
and as a result, provisions often bypass those living on the margins of the refugee crisis.
When CESRT is given notice of a new resident, our apartment distributions coordinator will initially
liaise with the family or individual who has been relocated in order to assess their exact condition.
Beyond the flat itself, it is not unusual for rehoused refugees to have absolutely no other provisions
or supplies. Their requests are as basic as food and clothing, dishes and cutlery and even electric
stoves and heaters. This part of our work doesn’t come without its challenges. This project puts a
spotlight on the harsh reality of war’s effect on mental health. Its essential to recognise the
multifaceted ways in which the crisis leaves desperation in its tracks. Apartment distributions are
entirely core to our mission as an emergency relief charity.