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
 
Migrant Route Augusta Italy 2014
Refugees, IDPs and people on the move

MSF calls on European Union to take its responsibility to stop putting migrants’ lives at risk

Press Release 11 Feb 2015
 
Migrant Route Augusta Italy 2014
Italy

Government must not betray its commitment to continue saving refugees at sea

Press Release 17 Oct 2014
 
Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees mainly from Eritrea and Gambia land a few hours after being rescued from the sea.
Italy

Italy and the EU must not abandon refugees at sea

Press Release 1 Oct 2014
 
A "medical home" in Milan for the homeless
Italy

An MSF “medical home” for the homeless in Milan

Project Update 13 Mar 2014
 
Journal article

Reaching out to the forgotten: providing access to medical care for the homeless in Italy

5 Feb 2014
Journal article
 
Italy

MSF calls for temporary closure and evacuation of migrants centre in Lampedusa

Press Release 20 Dec 2013
 
Project Update

EU member states must recognise human cost of repressive migration policies

Press Release 9 Oct 2013
 
Homeless in Milan
Italy

MSF provides care to homeless people in Milan

Project Update 8 Mar 2013
 
Italy

MSF fights against neglected diseases among migrants

Voices from the Field 9 Aug 2012