Published On: Fri, Aug 11th, 2017

'Magnet for misery' British charity hand out 'more food than ever' to Calais migrants

Volunteers say they are now serving a daily 3,000 portions of food as a new asylum crisis unfolds on the UK’s doorstep.

The return of refugees to northern France comes less than a year after 10,000 were evicted from the notorious Jungle camp

Each day a snaking queue of migrants jostle for food prepared from the back of a British-registered van just yards from where the sprawling camp was flattened in October last year.

While charity workers say they are offering relief to migrants in desperate need of help, critics fear they will attract more people to the area.

Tory MP David Davies warned: “There is a risk that this effort will act as a magnet, drawing people away from properly run refugee camps to risk their lives in order to get to Britain. It’s basically a magnet for misery.”

A French court recently overturned a ban on the distribution of food after local officials claimed it would encourage more refugees to arrive.

An aid worker with Refugee Community Kitchen said the charity was now cooking 750lbs of rice each day to cater for a growing army of economic migrants flocking to Calais.

This week 300 more arrived by bus from Paris and Germany, swelling numbers already living in woods close to the original Jungle site.

As they waited for a lunchtime meal of curry, rice and salad, the British woman said: “We are distributing more food than we ever have.”

Regional mayor Natacha Bouchart said the creation of “another Jungle” had already started with tents and shelters springing up in woodland and a Medecins du Monde mobile clinic operating in the area. 

Toilet and shower blocks are also to be installed as French President Emmanuel Macron’s new government provides facilities for those looking to sneak into the UK.

Officials fear it is only a matter of time before the besieged port town is overrun with those hellbent on crossing the Channel.

The situation is now so bad French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has increased the amount being offered to Calais migrants to return home from £900 to £2,260.

Afghan migrant Arab Saidnazar, 23, has been in Calais for two months waiting for a chance to join his brother who made it to Britain on the back of a lorry and is now working as a cash-in-hand chef in Birmingham.

He told the Daily Express: “Help me, please. Every night I try to get on the back of a truck. I just need one chance. England is a happy place, they speak to refugees there.” 

Latest official figures show illegals were caught trying to reach Britain as stowaways at a rate of one every 10 minutes last year.

Home Office data revealed that on average 4,318 attempts to cross the Channel illegally were made each month in the 13 months to January 2017.

The 56,132 total is equal to 139 a day, or six an hour.

The growing crisis is a concern for thousands of families be using the ferry port and Eurotunnel terminal to return from summer holidays.

There has already been an alarming spike in violence this summer with British drivers warned not to stop their vehicles near the town.

Last night the Home Office said it has invested tens of millions of pounds in new infrastructure to enhance border security, adding: “We continue to work closely with our French counterparts.”

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