18:33 GMT06 June 2020
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    The French authorities do not have a plan for accommodation of refugees and migrants, as evidenced by the situation around Porte de la Chapelle shelter in Paris, struggling to meet the needs of all new arrivals, Samira Alaoui, a spokeswoman for the Secours Islamique non-governmental organization, told Sputnik.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — A shelter, opened in Porte de la Chapelle area in northern Paris in November 2016, is constantly overcrowded, with migrants setting up tents in the street around it.

    "The state did not at all expect the arrival of migrants… So the structures put in place are really insufficient…There is no real plan put in place," Alaoui said.

    The NGO representative said that the tents spread around the center presented a risk of diseases for refugees and for local residents due to low level of hygiene.

    "I think the Paris City Hall put [a] few toilets and showers, but that’s all for more than a thousand people – it’s complicated," Alaoui said.

    According to the NGO spokeswoman, migrants are told to go to Porte de la Chapelle center because they can find food and shelter, but "if it wasn’t for the [non-governmental] associations, they would have neither roof nor food."

    "From time to time, the police forces come to dismantle, evacuate these settlements since they are just in the streets, put migrants in buses and take them to other, more remote centers to unclog this area of Paris a little," the spokeswoman explained.

    Alaoui added that the state, the prefecture and Paris City Hall often had disagreements on how to handle the influx of migrants, which led to miscommunication and lack of results.

    In July, French police moved asylum seekers off Paris streets to temporary shelters. It was a 34th such operation in the French capital since 2015. Despite police intervention, at least 1,500 people are reportedly currently sleeping rough around the Porte de la Chapelle center.


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