MSF staff at the Doctors Without Borders mobile clinic
When COVID-19 hit France, our priority was to assist the most vulnerable groups, including homeless people, refugees and undocumented migrants, as well as residents of nursing homes.

During the first wave of the pandemic, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) scaled up existing programmes supporting migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, and unaccompanied minors to provide general healthcare to all vulnerable people living on the streets and in informal settlements in and around Paris.

We also ran a hotline and sent mobile medical teams to emergency shelters and migrant workers’ hostels to detect and manage suspected cases of COVID-19, follow up patients and raise awareness about infection prevention measures. In addition, we worked in facilities set up by authorities to accommodate people who needed to self-isolate.

In Marseille, we supported testing and referrals centres in two of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods.

From April onwards, as we became aware of the catastrophe unfolding in nursing homes, we sent teams to offer medical and psychological support. Many homes in Paris were experiencing critical shortages of staff and equipment, yet having to care for severely ill patients who could not be referred to hospitals were overwhelmed.

As the second wave spread across the country, we launched an emergency appeal for more staff to help us reduce the burden on the most vulnerable facilities, and expanded our activities to Provence Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Occitanie regions.

In Paris and Marseille, we offered medical and administrative support to unaccompanied minors, and as winter approached, we set up emergency shelters to accommodate them as they waited to hear the outcomes of their applications for child protection.

In collaboration with four other organisations, we also provided assistance at a campsite in central Paris. MSF continues to call on the departmental councils of the Île-de-France region to fully assume their obligation to protect and care for this vulnerable group.

No. staff in 2020: 92 (FTE) » Expenditure in 2020: €5.6 million MSF first worked in the country: 1987

 

 
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