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The record in 2016 was a sad one: 65.6 million people displaced by conflict, causing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis (source: High Commissioner for Refugees). This means that approximately 1 in every 113 people are now displaced.

The never-ending conflicts in Syria, the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine account for most of these displacements, which not only flow into the countries bordering the conflict zones, but also into Europe and countries on the routes used by these displaced persons.


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  • Central African refugees in Chad

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) became involved in the Central African refugee camps in Chad in 2013-2014. MSF carried out major vaccination campaigns (54,400 vaccinations), distributed basic necessities (food, water, etc.) and installed latrines and hospital units, which enabled almost 1,000 hospitalisations and 38,000 consultations to take place.


  • Ukrainian refugees

The French Red Cross was able to care for 10,000 people displaced in the Ukraine at the end of 2014. The association provided them with the first aid they needed, distributed food, clothing, medicines and hygiene kits to help them cope with the winter and with the major economic problems in the country (price rises and decline in economic activity due to the conflicts).



  • Syrian refugees in Lebanon

More than 6 years after the start of the conflict in Syria, the neighbouring countries are struggling to provide hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees with medical and social assistance.

CARE has worked with over 173,000 people (Syrian refugees and host populations) in Lebanon since 2013 in order to meet their basic needs and reduce tensions with the host population. This involved improved access to and purification of drinking water, in particular through the restoration of damaged infrastructures.

This assistance also involved help with coping with the winter (distribution of warm clothing and blankets). Finally, CARE provided financial support to refugees to buy food, access basic services (health, education, legal aid, etc.) and essential non-food items (clothing, hygiene items).



  • The Balkan route

Coming mainly from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Nigeria or Sudan, people are ready to risk their lives to flee conflict zones.

Our partner MSF provides help to refugees in the following areas:

- In the Mediterranean (more than 20,000 people saved from drowning), where its teams are still present.

- In Greece: MSF has operated mobile clinics, distributed basic essentials and water kits and provided medical checks for those who stop there before continuing their journey across the Balkans.

- In Serbia: establishment of a clinic and transportation for the most vulnerable.

- In Hungary: following the closure of the borders, the MSF team provided support to the refugees evacuated from the Rozke camp.

- In Slovenia: MSF assisted the Ministry of Health in a transit camp at Brezice, on the border with Croatia, by providing medical checks around the clock.


The teams from our partner CARE organised a distribution of essential products in the Balkans to the migrants arriving every day en masse.

In March 2016, the humanitarian landscape in Greece changed rapidly: over 57,000 refugees were stranded in a country where the economic and financial situation is already strained.

Until March 2017, CARE's actions were aimed at improving the deplorable living conditions in the temporary camps by distributing payment cards to the most vulnerable refugees so that they could buy food and basic necessities in supermarkets.

Regular assessments were carried out in relation to the needs of the women, men, boys and girls in order to adapt these initiatives and ensure coherent action in relation to all of the humanitarian interventions.



  • Migrants and refugees in Western Europe

Several Red Cross groups mobilised in order to provide migrants with shelter, food, hygiene and care products, psychosocial support or to offer guidance.

For example, in the camps in north-west France, the French Red Cross distributed backpacks containing essential items in partnership with the British Red Cross. An inter-association medical facility was then established in 2016 in the Basroch jungle, swiftly followed by the Linière camp to provide health consultations in order to reduce the risks to health. Several associations, including the French Red Cross, set up a reception and psychosocial support centre which was open daily for the inhabitants of the camp.

In Ventimiglia, on the Franco-Italian border, volunteers from the French Red Cross also helped the Italian Red Cross with receiving and supporting migrants arriving on the coast.



In addition, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been helping refugees in France since September 2015:

- In Calais (approximately 4,500 people): the MSF teams opened a healthcare centre in which they carried out 8,400 consultations and a vaccination campaign between November 2015 and February 2016. Three hundred wooden shelters were also built to compensate for the inadequate accommodation facilities. MSF ceased its operations there after the camp was dismantled at the end of October 2016.

- In Grande Synthe (Dunkirk): in January 2016, a new site was developed and financed by MSF to enable migrants to be received under better conditions. The camp, which received 800 migrants in October 2015, housed 2,500 people at the start of 2016. The objective was to produce 500 heated shelters for the winter, with latrines and hot showers. MSF ceased its activities in the camp after having done so, the management of which was taken over by the Association des Flandres pour l'Enfance, la Jeunesse et l'Insertion (Flanders Association for Children, Youth and Insertion).

- In Paris, where mobile clinics were set up in 2016 and where a day-care centre for unaccompanied minors will open in September 2017.