The conservative mayor of Calais — the French coastal city famously close to England — has sparked outrage from local aid groups after issuing an order on Thursday forbidding charities to distribute food to refugees and migrants on the former site of the notorious ‘Jungle’ camp, which was dismantled last October.
Mayor Natacha Bouchart said in a statement on Thursday that “regular, persistent and large presence of individuals distributing meals to migrants” around the late Jungle, which used to house 10,000 migrants at its peak, posed a serious threat to peace and security.
Posters explaining the new directive, which prevents any “repeated, prolonged gatherings” in the area—effectively outlawing meal distribution, were plastered around the site.
Bouchart said that while she understood the situation “on a human level” the ban was necessary to prevent new makeshift camps from springing up in the area where the squalid Jungle used to be located.
“It’s not a directive against the distribution of meals, but against gatherings because these lead to law and order issues as well as security and waste problems,”the right wing mayor told AFP.