Diavata Refugee Camp: A Legacy of Resilience and Hope

Diavata Refugee Camp, located in the Thessaloniki region of northern Greece, stands as a testament to human resilience and the unwavering spirit of those forced to flee conflict and persecution. Established in 1990, the camp initially sheltered Kurds escaping the conflict in northern Iraq. Over the years, its purpose evolved, accommodating various groups, including Afghans, Syrians, and Ukrainians, amidst various regional and international conflicts.

A Place of Transition and Hope

Diavata served as a temporary haven, offering a sense of security and basic necessities to its inhabitants. It provided shelter, food, medical care, and the opportunity to rest and rebuild. Many individuals used this time to reunite with family members, pursue educational opportunities, or find work. The Greek government, NGOs, and international organizations collaborated to ensure the smooth operation of the camp and provide essential support.

Closure and Reopening

In 2016, the camp was officially closed as Greece implemented stricter border controls and shifted its refugee management strategy. However, in 2022, with the surge in Ukrainian refugees following the Russian invasion, the camp was unexpectedly reopened to accommodate the influx of new arrivals.

Current Situation

Diavata currently houses primarily Ukrainians who have fled the war. The camp operates under the responsibility of the Greek authorities with support from NGOs. Services and facilities have been updated and expanded to meet the specific needs of the new population.

Challenges and Debates

Diavata has faced its fair share of challenges, including overcrowding, limited facilities, and concerns over the security of its inhabitants. The camp has also become a focal point for political debate regarding the Greek government’s handling of the refugee crisis and its obligations towards vulnerable individuals.


1. What is the current population of the Diavata Refugee Camp?

The current population of the camp is estimated to be around 6,000 refugees.

2. What are the main groups of refugees staying at Diavata?

The majority of refugees at Diavata are Ukrainians, with a smaller number of Afghans and Syrians.

3. What is the living situation like in the camp?

The camp offers temporary accommodation in tents and containers, equipped with basic furniture and sleeping arrangements.

4. What kind of support is available to refugees at Diavata?

The camp provides medical care, food, water, sanitation, psychosocial support, and various educational and vocational training programs.

5. How can I help support the refugees at Diavata?

You can contribute to NGOs working in the camp or donate to organizations that provide aid and support to refugees.


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