Press release – Forty-seven refugees from Syria and Iraq arrived at Cergy-Pontoise, in the Val d’Oise department, early on Wednesday afternoon. Teams from the humanitarian NGO Première Urgence Internationale present at the site immediately provided medical care.

Première Urgence Internationale teams arrived at the Île de Loisirs activity centre in Cergy-Pontoise, in the Val d’Oise department, in the morning. Once there, they coordinated with the other humanitarian actors present in order to best prepare for the arrival of the first refugees. The forty-seven refugees from Iraq and Syria left Munich, Germany yesterday evening and got off the bus at the start of the afternoon, following a long trek.

The Première Urgence Internationale medical team, comprising a doctor, a nurse and a midwife, gave several consultations throughout the afternoon in order to ensure the most appropriate medical care for the new arrivals.

As well as providing treatment, the members of our team also lent an attentive ear to the refugees. This was the case for Tarek, who told us about his long journey. Father to three children aged 2, 3 and 9, he and his family have been travelling since 2012. They sought refuge all over Syria for almost three years, then set out on an exodus across Libya, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia and Germany, before arriving in France this morning. All I’m looking for is a good education for my children”, explained the young anaesthetic assistant.

Another account comes from Ali. He also arrived in Cergy with his family today. Our teams examined his children, including a baby aged just two months. He left Baghdad, in Iraq, because he could no longer endure the stress of the bombs and the curfew. It had become impossible to live with,he told us. “I’m relieved to have finally arrived.”

“Première Urgence Internationale hears stories like these on a daily basis, not only in Iraq and Syria, where it has been working since the beginning of the crisis, but also wherever it crosses paths with all the people who have been forced by conflict to leave their homes,” stated Thierry Mauricet, Managing Director of the NGO. This is the case today in France, in Cergy, and we will continue to respond to this call as long as there are people here who have been uprooted and need our help.”

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