Executive Summary for September 26th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the French president’s pledge to close the “Jungle” camp, a new E.U. cash aid program for refugees in Turkey and a wave of migrants entering Mexico.

Published on Sep. 26, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

France Vows to Permanently Close ‘Jungle’ Camp

French President Francois Hollande has pledged to permanently close the “Jungle” camp in Calais by the end of the year.

Some 10,000 migrants and refugees live in squalid encampments in the northern French port city, many of them hoping to travel on to the U.K.

“The situation is unacceptable and everyone here knows it,” Hollande said on a visit to Calais. “We must dismantle the camp completely and definitively.”

Migrants trying to reach the U.K. have sheltered in and around Calais for at least two decades. Previous efforts by the French government to dismantle camps in the area have only pushed refugees to form new settlements.

Hollande vowed not to let this happen again, saying authorities would make sure the closure of the “Jungle” doesn’t lead to the creation of a new camp.

France plans to disperse the camp’s residents to migrant reception centers around the country, where their asylum claims can be processed.

Hollande also insisted that the U.K. must fulfill its duties toward the Calais migrants. Some French politicians say that Britain should be responsible for processing their asylum claims and deporting those who are rejected.

E.U. Launches Cash Aid for Refugees in Turkey

The European Union has launched a program providing monthly cash payments via pre-paid debit cards to up to one million refugees in Turkey.

The 348 million euro ($391 million) Emergency Social Safety Net project will help refugees pay for food, housing, education and medical expenses.

It is part of a 3-billion euro ($3.37-billion) aid package that the E.U. has pledged to refugees in Turkey as part of a deal to curb migration flows to Europe.

The project will be implemented by the World Food Program and the Turkish Red Crescent, in cooperation with the Turkish crisis management agency and the Turkish ministry for family and social policy.

Turkey hosts the largest number of the refugees in the world, including nearly 3 million Syrians. The cash aid project aims to help the most vulnerable refugees in the country.

Aid officials say that providing cash rather than aid in-kind helps refugees regain some control over their lives and interact positively with local communities.

Wave of Migrants Cross Into Mexico

Nearly 5,000 migrants entered southern Mexico from Guatemala in just three days last week, Mexican authorities said.

The migrants from Haiti, as well as several countries in Africa and Asia, arrived between Sept. 21 and 23.

Most plan to travel through Mexico toward the U.S. border, according to Mexico’s National Immigration Institute.

They represent a sharp increase on the usual number of arrivals. Some 7,800 Haitians, and 1,701 African and 3,753 Asian migrants, crossed the border from Jan. 1 until Sept. 21, the institute says.

The U.S. government announced last week that it will resume deportation of undocumented Haitian migrants, following a surge in arrivals at the U.S. border with Mexico.

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