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Following three months of activities in Italy, we have now completed and closed our COVID-19 responses in the Lodi area and Marche region. Our interventions in Rome and in detention centres in Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria will continue until the end of June.  

More than 50 MSF staff were involved in our COVID-19 response in Lodi and Marche, assisting in three hospitals and close to 50 homes for the elderly. Our teams trained more than 500 health workers on infection prevention and control procedures and conducted mental health support sessions. 

In the detention centres, we have designed procedures to identify and verify suspected cases in new detainees and to trace the contacts of confirmed cases, to help protect detainees, jail workers and police officers from the COVID-19 virus.  

In Rome, our focus has been the most vulnerable communities in the suburbs. Along with the local health authority and non-governmental organisation Médecins du Monde, MSF will be introducing new health promotion activities in informal living settlements, including a telephone helpline service. The helpline will be staffed by doctors and intercultural mediators to support community needs, with a particular objective on identifying and assisting COVID-19 patients. 

In Sicily we continue to assist with contract tracing for COVID-19 patients.  


Can you make a donation to support our COVID-19 response?

Right now, Médecins Sans Frontières is providing much needed support and medical care in over 30 countries to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our teams are also gearing up to confront potential outbreaks in the hundreds of areas we were already working before the pandemic struck. We are deploying medical staff, sending supplies and applying nearly 50 years of experience fighting epidemics to protect the most vulnerable and save lives.
Can you help increase our capacity to respond by making a donation to our COVID-19 Crisis Appeal?






Italy continues to be the main landing point for migrants and refugees coming to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.

With the influx of refugees, the Italian authorities don't have an adequate reception system to respond to their specific humanitarian needs. In 2015, MSF began search and rescue operations to prevent drownings at sea.

People continue to flee Libya and die attempting to cross the world’s deadliest maritime route.

Reception conditions in Italy are in a critical state: the system is plagued by a chronic lack of shelters, emergency management and the lack of global, coherent governance. MSF continues to monitor asylum seekers and refugees' informal settlements and to denounce undignified living conditions and the lack of, or limited access to, medical services.

Mental healthcare for refugees and asylum seekers

We provide mental healthcare across multiple reception centres in Sicily’s Trapani province, where a team of cultural mediators and psychologists screen asylum seekers for psychological vulnerabilities and provide care. 

As a result of past traumas, and the precariousness of their current situation, many refugees display post-traumatic or psychosomatic reactions or symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.

For migrants in transit along Italy's borders with France, Switzerland, and Slovenia, we work in partnership with local services and volunteer networks to provide food, shelter, medical and psychological care, as well as other essential items, such as hygiene kits.

Aquarius SAR: Winter conditions and high seas

In Rome, MSF runs a rehabilitation centre for torture survivors in collaboration with Italian NGOs Medici Contro la Tortura (Doctors against Torture) and Association for Law Studies on Migration (ASGI). Here, survivors have access to a wide range of care, including medical and psychological care, and physiotherapy.

Find out more about Italy