A Bradford charity has told ITV Calendar that it is considering withdrawing its work from the Calais camps, claiming that too many people are there for the wrong reasons.
The UK Government has so far preferred to focus its attention on the camps in the countries bordering Syria. But the Prime Minister said that people should not be discouraged from donating aid to Calais if they wished to do so.
"There are some important charities working in Calais to help people there and if people want to donate to that part of the refugee crisis then they should. I would encourage people to give to responsible charities that can account for what they do."
He nevertheless defended the Government's record of helping those caught up in the refugee crisis.
"The right way to help the refugee crisis is to donate money to the Syrian refugee organisations including the work that is being done in Turkey and Lebanon and Jordan. We don't want to encourage people to make what is a very dangerous journey to Europe."
The Prime Minister said the people living in the Calais Jungle should talk to French authorities and put in an asylum claim there. He pointed out that Britain is 'building very strong borders around the tunnel and the Calais port', in an attempt to 'make sure that people who come to Britain have a right to come to Britain.'
ITV Calendar travelled with Bradford-based charity the Human Relief Foundation to the Calais Jungle, to find out how aid from Yorkshire is helping people in the camp.
Watch the first of two special reports:
A Bradford-based charity has told ITV Calendar that it is considering withdrawing its aid from the camp in Calais, following a visit to assess the situation in the area.
The Human Relief Foundation said that many people living in the Calais Jungle have enough food and clothes, with some suggesting they are happy to stay in the camp.
Deputy CEO Kassim Tokan described life in the camp as “miserable”, but said the visit had led him to question the motivations of some people living there.
“I thought they have valid reason, but most of them they haven’t any valid reason… they want to go (to the UK) to get money, a better economic situation.”
Given the current political climate, Mr Tokan suggested many of the people living in the camps would be better off closer to home.
“There is no point in staying here... Syrian people in Jordan have a much better life.”
He stressed that each case had to be taken individually, but indicated that it would be difficult to isolate “genuine” cases among the thousands of people living in the camps.
Mr Tokan suggested the charity would look instead to support people closer to their country of origin. “We need to find other places to help them… we are going to help people in Jordan, in Lebanon, in Turkey.”
How many people live there? How long do they stay? ITV Calendar has the answers to your questions about the Jungle.Read the full story ›
Yorkshire people have donated thousands to the Calais camps. ITV Calendar went to learn where that aid goes - and found a complex picture.Read the full story ›
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