Calais Mission 2015

The Channel Tunnel was open for travel in 1994, and by 1999 it began to merge migrant settlements across the city of Calais, France. Due to the immigrants’ intentions to cross the tunnel and reach the United Kingdom seeking for asylum, Calais witnessed an exponential growth of refugees throughout the years – mostly from Africa and Middle-East – who wanted to pursue a better life by fleeing a country in the midst of armed conflict.

During 2015, due to the civil war in Syria, the migrants’ presence in Calais dramatically increased, prompting the local government to group them in what was known as a disused landfill of approximate 34 acres. This zone had limited access to drinking water and lacked waste & sewage management. It currently has a population of about 6,000 immigrants, although there is a constant arrival of new migrants.

In order to address this social matter, the SAMU Foundation – alongside NGO Bridge2Life and the SAMU Emergency School, in collaboration with the Caixa Foundation and Menarini Responsable – deployed an emergency medical team to attend to the health needs of the refugee community. The SAMU team was composed by the Head of Mission: Borja Gonzalez de Escalada Alvarez, and contained medical corps: Blanca Micheo McPherson and Oscar Hugo Martín del Barco, nursing corps: Ignacio Guerrero Rodríguez and Andrés Rodríguez Holst; and journalist Cristina Diaz Aguilar.

Our team drove two vehicles to Calais, where they met with members of Bridge2Life and participated in multiple activities, primarily activities in health (in Calais, Paris and Dunkerque) and logistics (construction of a dining room, distribution of clothes, food, etc.).

Mission Technical Info

  • Mission Name: Calais 2015
  • Partner Organizations: Bridge2, La Caixa y Menarini
  • Country: France
  • Departure Date: 8-Nov-2015
  • Arrival Date: 18-Nov-2015
  • Populations Assisted: Refugiados Sirios, afganos, iraníes, iraquíes y kurdos mayoritariamente, entre otros.
  • Number of deployments: 1
  • Number of SAMU Participants: 6
  • Total Number of Participants: 21
  • Assistances Number: 474
    • Assistances on Base: 361
    • Field Assistances: 113

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