SAMU’s response to the arrival of immigrants to Spanish coasts

SAMU Foundation is one of the main global operators in health, emergency and social services with have over 70 work centers in various autonomous communities in Spain and in four other countries, including our offices in Washington, DC. These include residences for highly dependent persons, residences for the elderly, day care centers, a mental health hospital and more than twenty centers for minors (11 types).

SAMU Foundation has proven and extensive experience in the management of Emergency Field Shelters for the reception of unaccompanied foreign minors since 2007. During the 6 months that SAMU managed the Emergency Field Shelter in 2007, 313 minors were attended. In 2009 and 2012, two new Emergency Field Shelters were managed, serving a total of 515 minors.

Currently SAMU Foundation manages the Programa de Recepción, Atención y Acogida Ininterrumpida (RECEP) in Andalusia, Spain. This program ensures uninterrupted reception and care for unaccompanied foreign minors. From the beginning of the activity in October 2018, SAMU Foundation has attended 4,091 unaccompanied foreign minors under the RECEP program. 

The Spanish response to the crisis respects various signed international conventions and treaties. These emergency reception facilities are put in place to guarantee the protection of those who see their fundamental rights threatened in their country of origin and to assure Spain’s commitment to the Right of Asylum.

SAMU Foundation currently has a total of 35 work centers attending minors. In 2020, 2,201 minors were attended by a multidisciplinary team of 426 professionals. They carried out the contingency plan when faced with COVID-19 through the implementation of a biosafety department in all centers. The RECEP, due to its unique characteristics, is the center with the largest emphasis on biosafety.