SAMU’s Response to the migrant crisis in the Canary Islands

The recent migrant crisis in the Canary Islands, has once again tested SAMU Foundation’s capacity to act fast and with determination towards an emergency. As a result, SAMU has been able to set up and running four centers for unaccompanied minors. The centers, located in Telde, Farabella, Roque Nublo and Tamanaco (Puerto Rico), all part of Canary Islands, have the capacity to host 296 minors.

More than 300 unaccompanied minors arrived to the island with nothing else than the clothing they were wearing. Now, thanks to SAMU’s action, they have a safe shelter. 

The first center, in Tamanaco, was set up in record time. The first 43 children arrived on November 11, only 48 hours after SAMU had received the official calling from the Dirección General de Protección a la Infancia y la Familia, of the Canarian government. SAMU responded to the call for help. Up until  November 15, the arrival of migrants to the coast of Canarias, of more than 16,000, was 11 times more than the previous year according to official data. Numbers that had not been seen since 2006. 

SAMU was assigned the task to set up an emergency center in Tamanaco. “They called us because they had reach their capacity” Explains Juan Rodrigo, Directo of SAMU in the zone of Andalucía Occidental. The center, with a capacity to shelter 150 people had over 200 minors during the peak of the crisis. The other centers built have a capacity of 60, 58 and 28, respectively.