World Bulletin / News Desk
France is to build a camp for 1,500 migrants outside the port city of Calais with EU help, Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced on Monday.
Thousands of migrants have set up a squalid campsite - known as The Jungle - near the mouth of the Channel tunnel as they seek to smuggle themselves to the U.K.
Their efforts to gain access to U.K.-destined trucks or the train services that run under the English Channel have led to 16 deaths since June as well as massive delays on the roads leading to the tunnel.
Construction of the camp is due to begin next year and will be funded by 5 million euros ($5.6 million) from the EU, European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said. It will consist to 120 tents capable to housing 12 people each.
“The new funds will go towards the construction of a camp providing humanitarian assistance for around 1,500 people,” Timmermans said during a joint news conference with Valls in Calais.
He added: “We must act with humanity towards those in need of our protection, with solidarity and responsibility towards fellow European countries and with rigor in the application of our common EU rules.”
Valls said France would face the crisis with “humanity, responsibility and firmness”.
The 5 million euros is in addition to 266 million euros given to France for dealing with migration issues up to 2020.
According to French police, up to 3,500 migrants are camped at the port in unsanitary conditions. French medical organization Medecins du Monde says 16 have been killed trying to reach Britain.
The United Nations’ refugee agency recently called on France to come up with an urgent plan for the migrants in Calais.
Valls and Timmermans were joined by Interior Minister Bernard Cazneuve and EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos for the visit to the Jules Ferry migrant center and the Eurostar terminal.
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