Italy

People disembark MSF's search and rescue vessel, the Vos Prudence, in Palermo, Italy. A total of 726 people, including 52 children, were rescued on June 8 and 9, 2017.
ITALY 2017 © Andrew McConnell/Panos Pictures
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This information is excerpted from MSF’s 2016 International Activity Report.

Italy continued to be the main landing point for migrants and refugees coming to Europe via the central Mediterranean. In 2016, 180,746 people arrived by sea, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa. In 2016, MSF launched a mental health care project in 16 reception centers in Sicily’s Trapani Province, where a team of cultural mediators and psychologists screened asylum seekers and provided care to those in need. The team assisted 641 patients. With the growing number of deaths at sea, MSF provided psychological first aid to people showing signs of trauma. In April 2016, MSF opened a rehabilitation center for torture survivors in Rome. Patients received care through a multidisciplinary approach involving medical and psychological services, physiotherapy, and social and legal assistance.

From the end of 2015 to July 2016, MSF teams provided medical care, shelter, and support to hundreds of refugees in Gorizia, on the border with Slovenia. MSF staff worked in partnership with the local health service and the Red Cross, distributing relief items such as hygiene kits. In response to the urgent needs of migrants in transit at the borders with France and Switzerland, MSF teams collaborated with local authorities and volunteer networks to provide basic psychological and medical assistance, as well as food and other essential items.