After the eviction of ‘The Jungle’ camp in Calais, in October 2016, MSF has closed its project in the north of France
As of July this year, more than 100,000 people have reached Europe by land and sea, in a bid to find a better life.
For some refugees, the UK is their desired destination, often because they have relatives they wish to join.
With the English Channel as their final hurdle, thousands are now stuck in reception centres across France.
After the eviction of ‘The Jungle’ camp in Calais, in October 2016, MSF has closed its project in the north of France.
We are monitoring the situation and we support associations supporting refugees in several locations, including Dieppe, Paris, Caen and Roscoff, with mobile clinics.
For more on the situation, follow @MSF_France on Twitter
MSF’s work in France: 2016
Migrants and refugees trying to reach the United Kingdom found themselves stranded in northern France, unable to proceed beyond Calais.
In Calais, the number of inhabitants in the ‘Jungle’ – an informal camp for refugees and migrants – increased from 3,000 to nearly 10,000 between September 2015 and September 2016.
The lack of sanitation and exposure to the elements here and in other informal camps in northern France, had significant consequences for people’s health, such as skin diseases and respiratory infections.
We started working in this area in 2015, filling gaps in services provided by other organisations, and adapting its activities as needs arose.
In the Jungle, MSF provided healthcare until March, and water and sanitation until the summer. Teams also ran a centre for unaccompanied refugee minors in collaboration with other organisations and offered psychological support.
In Grande-Synthe, MSF conducted medical and psychological consultations through mobile clinics, and in March, completed the construction of a camp consisting of 370 shelters and sanitation facilities for 1,300 refugees and migrants living in a makeshift settlement. We handed over these activities to other organisations in September.
In the second half of 2016, ‘fixed’ settlements and camps were progressively closed by the French authorities.
In October, the Jungle was dismantled, and the estimated 6,000 people still living there (among which 1,900 unaccompanied minors) were sent to different sites across France.
We halted our medical and psychological activities, but continued to monitor the situation and provide assistance, either directly or by supporting other organisations.
Find out more in our International Activity Report