Ventimiglia
MSF teams in Italy are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and are working with migrants and people on the move.

Our current COVID-19 activities include working with marginalised people – migrants and Italian nationals included – to strengthen health and hygiene surveillance in squats and informal settlements in Rome. We also undertake health promotion and infection prevention and control measures in migrant reception centres in Sicily.

Elsewhere, we monitor the condition of migrants in transit along Italy's borders with France, Switzerland, and Slovenia; working with local organisations, we provide medical care, food and other essential items.

In July 2021, we started working once again in Lampedusa, Sicily, where three MSF teams provide medical and mental health care to survivors of shipwrecks and to people on the move who have recently arrived on the island by boat.

Our activities in 2020 in Italy

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020. 

MSF in Italy in 2020 When the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic shifted to Europe, MSF supported the response in Italy. We also continued to provide medical and psychological assistance to migrants.
Map of MSF activities in 2020 in Italy

Italy was the first European country to be hard hit by COVID-19. In early March, at the request of the health ministry, we started working in hospitals in Lombardy, the region with the highest number of cases, sharing our epidemic expertise in infection prevention and control, and patient care. We extended our activities to other regions, focusing on vulnerable groups. Our teams worked in care homes, prisons, migrant centres, shelters for the homeless, informal settlements and squats, supporting civil society groups providing assistance, and running multilingual health promotion and online mental health activities.  

Although our emergency response ended in July, we continued to carry out COVID-19 activities. On the outskirts of Rome, we supported the early detection and management of cases, while in Palermo, we responded to outbreaks in shelters for the homeless and migrant centres.  

In the summer, our team in Lampedusa, Sicily, responded to a sharp increase in the number of migrants arriving from Libya and Tunisia. For two months, we supported and trained national health service medical teams in triage at disembarkation and offered psychological first aid to people traumatised by experiences during their journey.  

Throughout the year, our teams continued to monitor the situation of migrants in transit at Italy’s northern borders. We denounced the dire living conditions, and the harsh treatment to which they were exposed, including physical abuse and pushbacks across the borders. We also worked with civil society groups to distribute relief items such as blankets and winter clothes.  

 

In 2020
 
Borgo Mezzanone, the“Pista” ghetto
Italy

Migrants and refugees on the margins of society

Report 8 Feb 2018
 
99 Survivors Rescued Sinking in Mediterranean Sea - Many Presumed Drowned
Mediterranean migration

99 survivors rescued from sinking dinghy but many presumed drowned

Press Release 28 Jan 2018
 
Tondo project in Philippines
Photo Story

A year in pictures 2017

18 Dec 2017
Photo Story
 
The Crossing 01
Photo Story

"The Crossing", night portraits on the rescue boat Prudence

15 Nov 2017
Photo Story
 
SAR activities June 2017
Mediterranean migration

MSF ends mission of search and rescue boat Prudence

Statement 5 Oct 2017
 
March 2017: Search and Rescue Operations in The Mediterranean
Mediterranean migration

MSF launches new website on search and rescue work

Voices from the Field 15 Aug 2017