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French Mayor Looks to Crowdfunding to Solve Migrant Crisis

© AP Photo / Michel SpinglerMigrants talk in a makeshift camp in Dunkirk, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015
Migrants talk in a makeshift camp in Dunkirk, northern France, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 - Sputnik International
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A French mayor said he would turn to crowdfunding to pay for a refugee camp built by local organizations in place of what a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) coordinator called Europe's worst refugee camp.

Despite government pressure, mayor Damien Carême of France's Grand-Synthe, Europe's "worst refugee camp," decided to build temporary housing for refugees.

Grand-Synthe is a suburb of Dunkirk, a port town which, like Calais, is a transit point for migrants hoping to reach Britain. To pay for the improved camp, which the national government refused to fund, Carême has decided to tuen to online crowdfunding.

"If we cannot [attract government funding], and the situation continues, I will in the meanwhile start a campaign to collect donations on the Internet to attract the attention of the general public and collect money," Carême told Sputnik.

A migrant hits a former shelter with a stick in a dismantled area of the camp known as the Jungle, a squalid sprawling camp in Calais, northern France, January 17, 2016. - Sputnik International
Agony in the 'Jungle': French People Rally Against Migrants in Calais
Carême added that he does not know if the effort would anger the French government, but he would stop if money was allocated. For now, the government told him that no funding will be allocated. The government also told him that the new buildings may violate fire codes.

He added that the town and the government were working together on stopping traffickers from moving people to Britain, and that the next step was to provide decent conditions for people in the camp.


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