Overseas Ministry / Annick Girardin: "7" climate refugees "have left the Northern Islands!


Nearly 7 residents of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy left the Northern Islands to join Guadeloupe, Martinique and the Metropolis, after Hurricane Irma, we learned from the overseas department .

Overseas Minister Annick Girardin said after the 3rd interministerial committee for the reconstruction of the two islands devastated by Irma that 2 of them had arrived in France, and 500 had passed through reception systems in place.

In the West Indies, 3 people have found refuge in Guadeloupe, and 500 in Martinique, the ministry said.

Initial estimates reported between 7 and 000 "refugees". Some have since returned home.

Among those who arrived in mainland France, 176 were referred to emergency accommodation. And 200 people, refugees in their families at first, returned to the state services and asked to be taken care of.

"In total, around 400 disaster victims are looking for accommodation," said Annick Girardin, ensuring that "all those who request support will be supported."

A feeling of abandonment

Some of these families, housed in hotels in Paris and the suburbs, complained in early October of having been abandoned. A resident of Saint-Martin, who came with her husband and three children, said that she “lost everything at home. “We were offered something, a very large apartment for everyone. I will not go. I want to be with my family, not with other… different people, ”she warned. His priority was above all that his children could return to school. “I am in 5th grade. I would like to go to college, ”added her 12-year-old son R.

Supported by an approved operator, "France horizon", these families had to, for those who wished, be rehoused "in a single accommodation center in which children can be educated", said on October 6, Ministry of Territorial Cohesion. It is a former boarding school, which accommodates 150-160 people, said Annick Girardin.

“We will open classes on site and we will make a full assessment and specific support for each family so as to take into account their difficulty, their need, but also their future plan because we must be able to support them over the long term ", She assured.

This support will be provided “within the next two months”.

It remains to be seen whether the government's promises will be kept… _AF


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