(c) Sinawi Medine



migrants arrived in Italy by sea in 2016


people died in 2016 while crossing the Mediterranean


The deteriorating situation in Libya and the closure of the border with Turkey have caused an increase in the number of migrants taking the Mediterranean route to central Europe. In 2016, over 180,000 people arrived by boat, mainly having passed through Libya, making Italy, as well as Greece, one of the countries taking in the most migrants and refugees.

Calabria has seen 31,450 people arrive by sea in 2016

The third disembarkation area for refugees and migrants after Lampedusa and Pozzalo in Sicily, Calabria, in the far south of Italy, has seen 31,450 people arrive by sea in 2016. Access to care for migrants is especially difficult there. The Italian public health system, which is normally open to everyone, cannot cope with such a huge influx of people. Administrative, cultural and linguistic obstacles, as well as a lack of information, further complicate the situation.

In 2016, over 180,000 people arrived by boat ©Olivier Papegnies
In 2016, over 180,000 people arrived by boat ©Olivier Papegnies



caring for migrants


Doctors of the World works alongside social workers in the region’s reception centres, in partnership with the Italian Red Cross, to facilitate access to care for the migrants when they disembark in Calabria. Our teams provide medical consultations and psychosocial activities in centres for unaccompanied minors and in the centre for vulnerable women, mainly for mental health disorders and gender based violence.




Alongside this, in Reggio, our medical teams, working with local organisations (ASP, The Municipality, Red Cross, Caritas, SPRAR network) and assisted by cultural mediators and interpreters, are at the port to receive the survivors as they disembark from the boats which saved them in the Mediterranean. This way they are better placed to ask men, women and children to talk about their suffering and to direct them to healthcare facilities where they can be cared for. 


In 2016

We have:

  • Conducted over 1,000 medical consultations mainly with unaccompanied children
  • Trained 70 social workers to deal with psychological emergencies
  • Trained 30 social workers in first aid

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