Afghans aren't fleeing by choice...We miss our relatives and our home a lot. We never wanted to leave.
The Guardian (December 23, 2015 | CALAIS) Students in the UK have been instrumental in organising aid collections and showing support for refugees since this summer, spurred on by heightened media coverage of the crisis that has gripped Europe. Since then, the number of people taking refuge in the Calais jungle has risen to more than 6,000, most fleeing conflict, violence and poverty in countries including Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Kosovo. Read more.
Al Jazeera (December 17, 2015 | ATHENS) At the activist-run Notara refugee solidarity centre in the Exarcheia neighbourhood of the Greek capital, Javid sat with his wife and three children and retraced their departure from Afghanistan. Although Afghanistan has been at war since the United States invaded in 2001, the farmer only now decided to make the journey to Germany. The final straw came when local police officers in Kabul began threatening him following an intra-familial dispute in his neighbourhood. Read more.
The Intercept (December 15, 2015 | PARIS) As negotiators labored to strike an international climate agreement in Paris, climate and war refugees in the north of France, shunned by the French government and European authorities, continued to perish. On a recent December night, a teenager from Darfur was struck and killed by a van just after sunset as he attempted to enter the Channel Tunnel to cross into the United Kingdom. He was at least the 18th person killed attempting to cross into Britain from the port town of Calais, where the population of a neglected and unauthorized refugee camp has grown from under 1,500 in April to as high as 6,000. Read more.
Foreign Policy (December 7, 2015 | SIERRA LEONE) Beginning last year, two dramatic events began to occupy Kamara’s thoughts, even as her daily routines stayed the same. The first was all around her, in Sierra Leone’s rural Kono district: Ebola grew from a distant rumor to a deadly plague, killing hundreds of locals. Residents panicked, some health workers fled, and gun-wielding military men arrived to enforce a series of lockdowns and quarantines. But as the crisis unfolded, something else momentous was happening: Kamara learned that her fourth child was on the way. Read more.
The Guardian (November 28, 2015 | DUNKIRK) “I was not born to live here like this,” says Ali. “I have three languages but I really want to learn Japanese. I love Japanese movies.” Ali is from Iran. He says he is not alone, but he seems very alone. We are in a refugee camp at Grande–Synthe, a Dunkirk suburb, sitting under a tarpaulin while people wait to see a doctor. Read more.
TIME (November 24, 2015 | CALAIS) Since July, the medical charity Médecins du Monde has offered more than 3,000 consultations in their makeshift wooden clinics. Jean-François Corty, its director of operations in France, says his staff have seen several hundred injuries—particularly broken bones and burns—relating to the dangerous risks migrants in Calais are taking in order to try and reach England. As despair mounts, many of them tell TIME that they are turning to smugglers who, in return for about $3,000, promise to find them trucks to climb into in order to reach England. Read more.
The Washington Post (November 24, 2015 | CALAIS) Outside, acrid smoke from wood fires stings the eye, the stench of uncollected garbage and neglected toilets assaults the nose, and an autumn wind chills the bone. But inside Mimi Amanuel’s immaculate wood-framed shack, the nightmare life of Calais’ migrant camp cannot overpower a woman’s dreams. Read more.
US News (November 12, 2015 | CALAIS) Adnan Kurdu has been living in a world of hurt. For months, he has chewed food to the left of his mouth to try to minimize the pain that starts from a right upper molar and seems, sometimes, to shoot down to his feet. Read more.
Mashable (November 11, 2015 | NEW YORK) The best and brightest in digital marketing gathered in New York City on Thursday night to celebrate the year’s greatest achievements in advertising, social, marketing and PR at the 2015 Mashies. Read more.
Al Jazeera (November 05, 2015 | LESBOS) Tragedy has struck the island of Lesbos, in the eastern Aegean Sea, repeatedly in the past year, and October was the worst month yet. Lesbos received 125,000 refugees, double the number in August. It saw dozens of shipwrecks, with at least 35 people killed on Oct. 28 alone. Read more.
Quartz (November 05, 2015 | GREECE) Fearing for the life of her unborn child, Faatma had begged her husband, Mohamed, to flee the civil war unraveling their country. After traveling overland for a month they crammed themselves on to a boat with 40 other people and set sail. Read more.
REUTERS (November 05, 2015 | GREECE) It was the first time in weeks Anthoula Papazoi had cooked meat. She had stewed the cut of beef, donated by a friend, on a low flame all morning. But now the casserole sat untouched, as Papazoi fretted about her 13-year-old daughter Nikoleta’s tooth. Read more.
The Guardian (November 04, 2015 | CALAIS) Aid groups have reported a surge in the numbers of unaccompanied refugee children living in tents in Calais with no support from the French state. Read more.
The New York Times (November 03, 2015 | LONDON) Soldiers putting up miles of razor wire fencing to keep out refugees. A mother and child stuck in a field of mud. A truck parked on the highway between Budapest and Vienna containing the decomposing bodies of 71 refugees. Read more.
The Guardian (November 02, 2015 | EUROPE) Record numbers of migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to Europe in October – just in time for the advent of winter, which is already threatening to expose thousands to harsh conditions. Read more.
The Guardian (November 02, 2015 | LILLE) A French court has ordered the country’s authorities to improve conditions at the giant “new jungle” migrant camp in Calais after NGOs called for immediate action over “serious human rights violations”. Read more.
Yahoo (October 19, 2015 | CALAIS) Winter is coming to France’s port town of Calais, raising fears among aid groups about worsening conditions for the thousands of migrants living in a makeshift camp. Read more.
The Washington Post (October 14, 2015 | PARIS) Basic rights, and sympathy, are in short supply for thousands of migrants around the northern French city of Calais, even though the travelers — many fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere — live in what may be the European Union’s biggest and most squalid ghetto. Read more.
KCRW (October 7, 2015 | LOS ANGELES) On this, the fourteenth anniversary of America’s invasion of Afghanistan, a resurgent Taliban is challenging President Obama’s plan to withdraw US forces by the end of next year. Many Afghans have lost all hope, and this weekend’s attack on a hospital has compromised US credibility. Read more.
The Guardian (October 02, 2015 | CALAIS) Conditions in the Calais camp known as the Jungle are diabolical, with cramped makeshift tents plagued by rats, water sources contaminated by faeces and inhabitants suffering from tuberculosis, scabies and post-traumatic stress, according to a new report. Read more.
The Independent (September 26, 2015 | CALAIS) In the sprawling shanty town among the sand dunes and motorways outside Calais, known locally as “the Jungle”, there is only one clinic, and its daily catalogue of health conditions tells a story about the kind of place this is. Read more.
Non Profit Quarterly (September 22, 2015 | LONDON) I was working in Beirut in 2014 when it was reported that the number of Syrian refugees coming across the border had passed the one-million mark. The toll the situation was taking on the country’s housing, employment, education and services was evident, and it was bound to get worse, with the UNHCR registering 2,500 new refugees (more than one a minute) in the country every day. Read more.
BBC (August 20, 2015 | LONDON) Doctors of the World director, Leigh Daynes, talks about short-sighted new Home Office security measures for Calais on BBC Breakfast. Doctors of the World urges the government to spend a modest amount of Calais security money on humanitarian care. Read more.
The Guardian (August 2, 2015 | CALAIS) Women and children are turning up in large numbers at migrant camps in Calais for the first time and authorities are not doing enough to shelter and protect them, a senior aid worker has warned. “Since last summer we started to have an increase in woman and children and families. It was not like that before,” said Jean-François Corty, director of French operations for Médecins du Monde (MdM), which runs a clinic in the camp. Read more.
The New York Times (July 30, 2015 | CALAIS) The sun had barely set when a 23-year-old Eritrean woman who gave her name as Akbrat fell into step with dozens of other men and women and started scaling the fence surrounding the entrance to the French side of the Channel Tunnel. The barbed wire cut her hands, but she did not feel the pain. The police seemed to be everywhere. Read more.
The Guardian (July 29, 2015 | CALAIS) Medical staff in Calais say they are struggling to cope with the number of seriously injured migrants, who are taking ever greater risks attempting to get to the UK. As French police confirmed the death of another migrant attempting to cross the Channel, Médecins du Monde, which has a semi-permanent base in “the jungle” migrant camp in Calais, said that the number of people needing urgent help had rocketed in recent days. Read more.
Mashable (July 16, 2015) Greece may have reached an agreement for a historic bailout, preventing the country from spiraling into further chaos, but that doesn’t mean Greeks are in the clear. After years of austerity measures following the global recession in 2008, Greece remains in the middle of a humanitarian crisis, and it might not even receive bailout money until mid-August. Read more.
The Guardian (July 9, 2015 | THESSALONIKI) Above a dark, tatty arcade of wholesale button traders and empty shop fronts in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, one mother was rocking a sick baby and another was carrying a toddler as they waited to see a volunteer paediatrician in the brightly painted clinic run by the Greek branch of the NGO Doctors of the World. Read more.
Voice of America (July 8, 2015 | ATHENS) As Europe’s politicians debate the future of Greece in the eurozone, the economic arguments seem distant for many Greeks living in poverty. Five years of government spending cuts have had a huge impact on public services, and it’s likely EU leaders will demand further austerity in return for a bailout deal. Read more.
Greek News (June 25, 2015 | NEW YORK) Doctors of the World USA (MdM USA) announced a major donation from the Jaharis Family Foundation will provide a significant boost to the global healthcare organization’s initiative of providing access to quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in Greece, specifically those affected by the economic crisis. Read more.
The Economist (May 9, 2015 | NAIROBI) Foreign tourists have yet to return to the west African coast following last year’s Ebola epidemic that infected 25,000 people and killed more than 40% of them. But should visitors come, little would strike them as out of the ordinary. Read more.
The New York Times (March 13, 2015 | NEW YORK) Social marginalization and mistrust of modern medicine have caused high infant mortality rates among indigenous communities in Bolivia. Efforts over the last 10 years seek to stem the crisis while respecting traditions. Read more.
BBC (March 12, 2015 | LONDON) The United Nations and a global coalition of aid agencies have accused international powers of failing the victims of the Syrian conflict. Read more.
<New York Times (March 12, 2015 | NEW YORK) United Nations experts have painstakingly documented a litany of torture, rape and execution committed in Syria in the past four years. No one has been held accountable.
The Security Council has authorized the delivery of food and medicines, but a year since it did, aid agencies say they continue to be stymied — with no reprisal from the world powers. Read more.
Reuters (February 10, 2015 | LONDON) Global health charity Medecins du Monde (MdM) launched a legal challenge on Tuesday to a European patent held by U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc which it accused of charging “exorbitant” prices for a hepatitis C drug.
Arguing that Gilead is “abusing” its patent on Sovaldi, known generically as sofosbuvir, MdM said its challenge marked the first time in Europe a medical charity has used this method to try and improve patients’ access to medicines. Read more.
Christian Science Monitor Online (February 1, 2015 | ATHENS, GREECE) French charity Doctors of the World provides emergency relief in war zones and natural disaster areas across Asia and Africa. But now the group finds itself working closer to home – in Greece.
After five years of austerity and recession in Greece, doctors at the charity say they are seeing a dramatic increase in poor health and malnutrition among the public. The deterioration of the country’s social safety net amid austerity-driven cuts is not just driving the political change seen in anti-austerity party Syriza’s political victory earlier this week. It’s having a very real physical impact as well. Read more.