Refugees in Paris living in makeshift camps received incredible news on Tuesday when the mayor of the city announced plans to open a humanitarian refugee camp. The camp, which will open in four to six weeks in the north of Paris, is expected to meet U.N. standards.
"I hope that the center will be a welcoming place to [evaluate] these people's situations, and also a site that allows the lodging of those in need," Mayor Anne Hidalgo said, according to The Local.
Hidalgo pointed to the hospitality displayed to refugees by other nations, including Germany, as inspiration for the camp's creation. Although Germany graciously welcomed one million refugees, France has been more apparently reluctant, and in 2015 agreed to accept only 30,000 refugees over the next two years. The installation of the camp, which will offer a day center and other accommodations to refugees living in the area, is seen as a step forward, and could help influence a wider change of heart.
The U.S. is only offering to welcome 10,000 refugees, of which less than 1,300 were resettled as of April. A number of organizations, including religious groups, have been pushing for the United States and other countries to accept more refugees.
According to NBC News, over 200,000 migrants successfully traveled across the Mediterranean to Europe in the past year, including hundreds who have taken shelter in Paris' subways and parks.
But there are also many refugees and migrants who did not survive the journey. The U.N. refugee agency said that at least 880 refugees died in shipwrecks trying to get to Europe last week.
"Paris will not stand by and do nothing as the Mediterranean becomes a graveyard of refugees," Hidalgo said, via Mashable.
Hopefully, other cities will follow in its wake.
Cover image via Gail Palethorpe / Shutterstock.com.