The United Nations' refugee agency says Greece is facing an "unprecedented" emergency as people fleeing war and poverty at home continue to stream into the country's islands in huge numbers.

The UNHCR said Friday that 77,100 people have arrived to Greece by sea at an average of 1,000 people per day. The agency said Greece's bad economic situation is putting severe strain on small island communities that are unable to cope and urged European authorities to help before things get worse.

It said most of the refugees arriving to Greece move on in hopes of reaching western and northern European countries and passing through the Balkans, which has seen a nine-fold increase in asylum applications in the first half of this year as compared to the same period in 2014.