- Human Relief Foundation has been helping people at the Jungle camp
- A delegation from charity found most people there are economic migrants
- Discovered unwanted aid being dumped and burnt in chaotic conditions
- Now hope to help people in genuine need in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey
A crisis relief charity chief is set to pull the plug on aid to the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp after discovering most people there are economic migrants ‘without any reason’ to leave their home country.
The Bradford-based Human Relief Foundation has been running a project to help the ‘refugees’ at the makeshift camp and previously claimed they were all ‘fleeing war and significant atrocities.’
But a visit by a team led by Kassim Tokan, the HRF deputy chief executive, discovered a totally different picture on the ground, with unwanted clothing and food being ‘dumped and burnt’ by the migrants.
When a team from the Human Relief Foundation visited the Jungle in Calais they discovered most people there were economic migrants
Instead of vulnerable families fighting for survival he found the camp – dubbed the Jungle – was ’95 to 97 per cent’ adult men.
The discovery has prompted the charity – which sends relief aid to people in desperate need around the world – to change its aid policy in respect of the Calais camp where around 4,000 people are living.
They found chaotic conditions with no organisation where aid was being distributed randomly and unwanted items later discarded in piles on the ground.
Interviewed by ITV’s Calendar News, Mr Tokan admitted he was surprised by what he found. Asked if his charity would withdraw support for the camp’s inhabitants, he said: ‘Most likely, yes.’
He said it would be better to help people in genuine need in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey rather than ‘healthy people here.’
The charity’s own ‘Path of Mercy’ project stated on its website that ‘most of the refugees in the camp are highly vulnerable people’ fleeing war. Adding: ‘Due to the conflict, many people have faced and continue to face injury, disability, torture, starvation, neglect and poor mental health.’
However, after inspecting conditions at the Calais camp and being shown around by an aid staff on site, Mr Tokan came to a very different conclusion.
Mr Tokan, who heads the international charity’s global orphan and family programmes, said many migrants in Calais had no ‘valid’ reason for going to the UK and should have stayed at home.
He said: ‘They have enough food, they have enough clothes and we have seen clothes everywhere thrown. I think we need to find other places. These people come from certain countries which are safe, everything is there, they can work, but I don’t know why they came here.
‘Some people they haven’t any valid reason. They want to leave their country without any reason. They want to go (to the UK) to get money, a better economic situation.’
Huge amounts of donated clothes, intended for women and children, have been dumped because there are few families there and unwanted food has also been left to rot.
An HRF spokesman said yesterday its presence at the camp would be maintained, but with an emphasis on ‘building communal kitchens and portable shower units for camp residents’ rather than continuing to provide food and clothing.
Politicians and other commentators on both sides of the Channel have long argued that the illegal Calais camps are mainly populated by economic migrants.
France’s former employment minister Xavier Bertrand is one of many who said Britain’s ‘black jobs market’ was the goal of the mostly young men with mobile phones, rather than desperate families fleeing war and persecution.