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
 
msf activities in Lampedusa
Mediterranean migration

Seven people dead and 10 missing in shipwreck off Italian island

Press Release 2 Jul 2021
 
Border between Italy and France
Italy

Abandoned at the borders: stories of people on the move during winter

Voices from the Field 28 Jan 2021
 
Rescue Jan 15th & 16th
Italy

“The survivors share the memory of the big wave that threw them into the water”

Voices from the Field 29 Oct 2020
 
MSF intervention in care homes
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Out of view, but not out of mind: MSF's response to COVID-19 in care homes

Project Update 24 Apr 2020
 
Dr. Claudia Lodesani
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic brings new challenges to well-developed healthcare systems

Interview 31 Mar 2020
 
MSF starts COVID-19 coronavirus activities in France
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

MSF steps up COVID-19 response in Europe

Press Release 30 Mar 2020
 
Codogno Hospital, Lodi Province
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

“Our priority is to protect hospital staff” where COVID-19 began in Italy

Project Update 20 Mar 2020
 
Respirator Masks
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Help and solidarity needed in Europe to protect medical staff from COVID-19

Press Release 16 Mar 2020
 
MSF intervention in Lodi
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

MSF starts COVID-19 response activities in four northern Italian hospitals

Press Release 12 Mar 2020