From file: Migrants hiding in the woods between the municipalities of Ventimiglia and Olivetta San Michele near the French border | Photo: Chiara Carenini / ANSA
From file: Migrants hiding in the woods between the municipalities of Ventimiglia and Olivetta San Michele near the French border | Photo: Chiara Carenini / ANSA

The Catholic charity Caritas says they are seeing increasing numbers of migrants passing through the town of Vengimiglia on the Italian-French border.

The charity assists at least 200 migrants a day with meals and other social help, but the real numbers are much higher says the Caritas Intemelia chief Maurizio Marmo.

"At least 200 migrants are here every day in Ventimiglia, a number that grew in early August and which almost always coincides with the increase in arrivals in our country," Marmo said on August 9.

He added that, in the previous two days, Caritas had offered 380 meals, that worked out at about 190 meals per day.

The average number of presences - he said - is however underestimated in the sense that not all foreign nationals that pass through the town of Ventimiglia on the border between Italy and France go to Caritas and that although some people eat twice, the number of migrants is nonetheless always higher.

'Run out of men's clothing'

"We have run out of men's clothing and our medical clinic has conducted over 100 exams since the beginning of the month," Marmo noted.

"Arrivals also continue of families from Iraqi Kurdistan, Sudan, Mali, Nigeria, Eritrea, and Syria. Over the past week we counted a total of 50 children traveling with their families."

Caritas, with the help of the Sant'Agostino parish, hosts 20-30 people every day (mostly families with children) on average, but the lack of a reception center in the town is felt particularly acutely in this period when there is a sharp rise in migrants.

"The opening of a center," Marmo said, "is very useful not only for migrants but also for my city."

Most migrants sleep in makeshift camps near the Roya river or the railway station or in abandoned farmhouses.

Salvini comments on situation in Ventimiglia

On the subject of the presence of migrants in Ventimiglia, far-right party League leader Matteo Salvini said that there has been a "blast of arrivals in Ventimiglia, where the presence of immigrants is creating chaos and problems for volunteers, who are unable to provide adequate assistance. This is the result of the disaster of the Democratic Party (PD) and the Five Star Movement (M5S), who cancelled the [anti-asylum] security decrees," concluded Salvini.

He added that, "I cannot wait for the League to start dealing with security and immigration, to ensure rules, border defense, and dignified reception for those actually fleeing war. I will soon be in Liguria and on September 25 Italians will make their voices heard."

 

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