France

Last updated 20 June 2016

Calais

An estimated 5,000 refugees continue to live in the Jungle despite the forced eviction by French Authorities of nearly half of the refugee camp in March 2016. Today the Jungle sits on half the surface area of the original site and overcrowding is heightening tensions within a vulnerable population. Violence between migrants flared on 26 May, leading to a fire that scorched 3,500 square meters of the camp and left over 800 people without shelter. Additionally, due to the constant flow of arrivals to the Jungle, water and sanitation facilities remain a major concern.

MSF is increasing its support for the most vulnerable groups within the Jungle: women, unaccompanied minors and migrants demonstrating psychological problems through outreach activities and the support of a psychologist & psychiatrist present in the Jungle's health center. MSF will open a Youth Center, in partnership with other organizations present in the Jungle, for minors that will offer mental health support, access to legal information and educational activities. At the beginning of June, over 350 unaccompanied minors were documented in the Jungle. The number of unaccompanied children in Calais’s Jungle is continuing to grow and today there is no state-sponsored support for this extremely vulnerable group of young people inside a dangerous zone. 

Grande-Synthe

The French government has agreed to support the financing of the Grande-Synthe camp over the next year, promising 3.9 million euros. The mayor’s office has chosen the AFEJI (Association Flandres Education Formation Jeunes Insertion) to take over the camp’s management, replacing the organization UTOPIA 56. Despite the government’s investment in the Grande-Synthe camp, MSF continues to monitor the situation and the ongoing handover.

See the latest Mediterranean migration update for more information on our projects in France.

Activities  2015 International Activity Report

In September 2015, MSF started providing medical care to refugees and migrants living in the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais.

In early 2016, the ‘Jungle’ camp was home to up to 6,000 refugees and migrants. The living conditions were dire, despite the efforts of non-profit organisations and local charitable initiatives. Calais is near the Channel Tunnel, a railway link between France and the UK. For several years, people have been trying to reach the UK on trucks via the tunnel.

With Médecins du Monde, MSF started providing medical services in the camp in September. The team then built an outpatient department to improve working conditions and patient care, as the site is prone to flooding. Between 100 and 120 people were seen every day and benefited from medical consultations, nursing care and physiotherapy. The team also undertook water and sanitation activities, built 66 chemical toilets and set up a system for collecting and managing rubbish. As people were living in small tents unsuitable for rainy and wintry weather, MSF built 80 wooden shelters, each accommodating four to five people.

Grande-Synthe, Dunkirk

Around 2,500 mainly Kurdish refugees and migrants were living in appalling conditions at a site in Grande-Synthe, north of Calais, near the port of Dunkirk. MSF set up 22 latrines and two water points, and provided medical consultations three days a week. MSF also decided, with the support of the local council, to build a new site offering better shelter and living conditions. In November and December, over 2,100 medical consultations were carried out in this area – the majority for respiratory tract infections and scabies, predominantly caused by poor hygiene and sanitation.

Year MSF first worked in the country: 1987.

2015 Key figures
No. staff in 2015 9
2015 Expenditure €1.0 million

Figures from 2015 International Activity Report
and 2015 International Financial Report

Activity Reports

Financial Reports