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
 
Libya

Another tragedy in Italian seas after escape from Libyan war to Lampedusa

Project Update 8 Aug 2011
 
Italy

Seeking Refuge, Finding Suffering

Report 3 May 2011
 
Italy

Italy must drastically improve conditions facing refugees, asylum seekers and migrants fleeing North Africa, including Libya

Press Release 3 May 2011
 
Italy

Survivors of boat collapse off Lampedusa coast receive medical and psychological care

Project Update 12 Apr 2011
 
Italy

MSF claims sanitary conditions in Lampedusa, Italy, below humanitarian standards

Statement 1 Apr 2011
 
War and conflict

Support to health facilities in the Middle East and North Africa

Project Update 23 Mar 2011
 
Sexual violence

MSF denounces the sexual violence against migrants travelling to Europe

Report 25 Mar 2010
 
Italy

Violence in southern Italy exposes extreme neglect and exploitation of seasonal migrant workers

Press Release 12 Jan 2010
 
Project Update

MSF urges European governments to respect life, dignity and healthcare of migrants and asylum seekers

Press Release 16 Dec 2009