Saving lives along the migration route
Every year, tens of thousands of people fleeing violence, insecurity and persecution at home attempt a treacherous journey via North Africa and across the Mediterranean to reach Europe. More than 2,500 people have been lost on these journeys in 2015.
They came from all different places: Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Gambia and as far away as Bangladesh. After overcoming the terrifying waves on the Mediterranean Sea, they reached Europe via Greece, Italy, Spain and Malta.
As of September 2015, MSF is operating land-based projects in five countries along migration routes and on search-and-rescue ships on the Mediterranean Sea. The teams are providing basic healthcare and mental health support, and distributing relief items to people in need.
Distributing relief items
MSF distributes relief items to people in Idomeni, Greece. © Borja Ruiz Rodriguez/MSF
Crossing the border
A group of around 150 Syrians set off to cross the Greek border with the Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia. © Alessandro Penso
Hungarian police used smoke bombs to disperse refugees who were trying to cross the border. MSF sent two mobile teams to assist those affected by the clashes. © John Carlos Tomasi/MSF
MSF teams are working at the border between Greece and Former Yugloslav Republic of Macedonia to provide medical consultations.© Borja Ruiz Rodriguez/MSF
Take a look at MSF’s sea operations
MSF worked on three search-and-rescue boats on the Mediterranean Sea – MY Phoenix, Bourbon Argos and Dignity I. As of early September 2015, the three boats have assisted a total of 14,533 people. The operation on MY Phoenix came to an end in late September, but MSF’s work continues on the other two boats.
Rescue and Transfer
People rescued were transferred to the MY Phoenix and brought to Italy. ©Gabriele François Casini/MSF
Tiny and overcrowded wooden boats
The boats that carry refugees are often overloaded, very crowded and unseaworthy. © Gabriele François Casini/MSF
A group of men slept on the Phoenix’s lower deck. © Gabriele François Casini/MSF
The First Meal for Days
People on the MY Phoenix’s main deck are eating a hot meal. © Gabriele François Casini/MSF
A busy rescue day at sea
2 September 2015 was the busiest day for MSF’s three boats in the Mediterranean Sea, rescuing 1,658 people. © Anna Surinyach/MSF
A life jacket
Refugees write handwritten prayers for a safe passage, or phone numbers of relatives and friends to be contacted in case the person wearing it does not make it. © MSF