The Spanish government has authorised the immediate transfer to Barcelona of 50 people who had arrived in the Canary Islands on dinghies and canoes in the last few weeks. This year alone more than 15,500 people have arrived on the archipelago in precarious boats mainly from Senegal, Mauritania and the Sahara. This has led to a humanitarian crisis on the Arguineguín dock in Gran Canaria, where at one point over 2,000 people were spending the night. This is the first time that the state has authorised the transfer of migrants to the Peninsula, and in fact only ten days ago the Spanish Minister of Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, ruled out the transfer.
According to a press release from the City Council, the 50 people will be housed in a municipal reception facility. When they arrive, social care professionals will take their details and provide initial care to cover their immediate basic needs (food, hydration, medical and psychological care) and to be able to detect medium-term needs. The objective is to evaluate the psychological and emotional state of these people, the social state in order to detect possible situations of violence, and also the state of health, in order to detect untreated diseases and uncontrolled pregnancies, among others. In addition, efforts will be made to identify persons requiring a proactive and specialised follow-up and, if necessary, to process the application for asylum.
The municipality will be responsible for providing the infrastructure for the accommodation and the State will cover the associated social care costs. Barcelona has made itself available to the State on numerous occasions to collaborate in the reception of migrants.