(REUTERS) – Municipal authorities in Paris plan to build a camp to house several hundred refugees in the French capital, the mayor said on Tuesday, criticising the dire living conditions for migrants who have fled to Europe.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said city services were looking for a site in the north of the city and that the camp could be built within two months.
Hidalgo cited as a model a migrant camp made up of modular cabins housing about 2,500 people in Grand-Synthe on the northern French coast. Opened in March, that camp is run by the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.
“We cannot accept any longer the humanitarian situation, the sanitary situation that migrants have to put up with,” Hidalgo told reporters, without elaborating.
It would be the first refugee camp in the Paris area.
France has been much less affected by the migrant crisis than, for example, neighbouring Germany, which has taken in more than a million migrants, many fleeing war in Syria and Iraq, since last summer.
However, thousands have transited France to reach the Channel in the hope of crossing to Britain. Some 3,900 migrants currently live in squalid conditions in a camp outside the port of Calais.
(Reporting by Simon Carraud; Writing by Matthias Blamont; editing by Gareth Jones)