Section: Border
Support: Assistance Capital: Physical Implementer: Italian Red Cross Funder: Emergency Appeal

Provision of immediate primary health care at landing sites to migrants coming ashore after search and rescue operations.

Case study

The Italian Red Cross provides first line primary health support at landing points in Italy. Once migrants arrive, doctors from the Ministry of Health conduct an on-board medical check. Then, Italian Red Cross volunteers take care of the migrants when they disembark from the ships at the ports; volunteers perform triage on the docks to identify the most vulnerable migrants. Depending on their condition, migrants are either referred to hospitals or treated at medical posts. Other services are also provided by the Italian Red Cross at disembarkation, including hospital transportation, distribution of relief items, restoring family links (RFL), psychosocial support, and advice on health issues and services.

In Sicily, Apulia, Calabria, the regions most affected by the landings, at least 2,650 volunteers were engaged to support first response. The Italian Red Cross has dedicated structures and can quickly activate hundreds of volunteers to receive, protect and look after migrants during periods of increased migrant influx. Additionally, given that the Minister of Interior makes decisions regarding where and when the disembarkations will take place, the Italian Red Cross has a contingency plan in place to move its staff and resources to the ports that are most in need.

Other examples
Assessment of impact and reach

In 2015, the Italian Red Cross welcomed 143,466 migrants in Italian ports and was present at 414 landings.

Cost per beneficiary
Alignment with policy

Design. [P1] Directly focused on addressing health vulnerabilities of migrants at landing sites and borders.

Implementation. [P6] The Italian Red Cross collaborates with the Ministry of Health and local health authorities to provide assistance.

  • It is difficult to ensure long-term commitment on the part of some volunteers due to a number of factors.
  • Depletion of stocks and resources for response.
  • Difficulties encountered in identifying the most vulnerable migrants during short assessments.
Lessons learned
  • Effectiveness is contingent on the ability to end the disembarkation operation in a short timeframe.
  • Strong collaboration with the other actors involved in the disembarkation process is vital.
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