Unaccompanied minors are among the most vulnerable, finding themselves confronted by a lack of information, and a maze of administrative bureaucracy. We work in a day centre for unaccompanied minors in Pantin, in the suburbs of Paris, offering respite, medical care and administrative support.
Our teams also run mobile clinics for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Paris and monitor the situation throughout the country.
MSF teams are currently responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing medical and mental healthcare in nursing homes in the Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur and Occitanie regions; we are also screening homeless people in Paris for COVID-19.
Our activities in 2020 in France
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.
During the first wave of the pandemic, MSF scaled up existing programmes supporting migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and unaccompanied minors to provide general healthcare to all vulnerable people living on the streets and in informal settlements in and around Paris. We also ran a hotline and sent mobile medical teams to emergency shelters and migrant workers’ hostels to detect and manage suspected cases of COVID-19, follow up patients and raise awareness about infection prevention measures. In addition, we worked in facilities set up by authorities to accommodate people who needed to self-isolate. In Marseille, we supported testing and referrals centres in two of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods.
From April onwards, as we became aware of the catastrophe unfolding in nursing homes, we sent teams to offer medical and psychological support. Many homes in Paris were experiencing critical shortages of staff and equipment, yet having to care for severely ill patients who could not be referred as hospitals were overwhelmed.
As the second wave spread across the country, we launched an emergency appeal for more staff to help us reduce the burden on the most vulnerable facilities, and expanded our activities to Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Occitanie regions.
In Paris and Marseille, we offered medical and administrative support to unaccompanied minors, and as winter approached, we set up emergency shelters to accommodate them as they waited to hear the outcomes of their applications for child protection. In collaboration with four other organisations, we also provided assistance at a campsite in central Paris. MSF continues to call on the departmental councils of Île-de-France region to fully assume their obligation to protect and care for this vulnerable group.
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