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Belgium

A young migrant checking a European map in the ‘humanitarian hub’ in Brussels. [© Albert Masias/MSF]

Staff in 2019: 13| Expenditure in 2019: €0.8 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1987 | msf.org/belgium

Key medical figures

  • 1,010 individual mental health consultations

The situation for migrants and asylum seekers in Belgium worsens every year, due to restrictive policies that make access to basic healthcare very difficult. 

In 2019, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continued to play a key role, alongside six other organisations, in running a ‘humanitarian hub’ in Brussels. This is a place where migrants and asylum seekers can find services that are not available to them elsewhere in the city, such as medical and mental healthcare and socio-legal advice, as well as assistance with family tracing and clothing. Many migrants and asylum seekers make use of these services, and overall the hub receives around 50,000 visits each year.

The main focus of MSF activities is mental healthcare. In 2019, we conducted individual consultations with more than 530 people. Most were men from Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Our intervention operates on two levels. In the hub itself, we provide psychological support to people who need it, and at another site nearby, we offer more specialised care through psychologists or psychiatrists for those with more acute needs.

After ending our activities in several reception centres managed by the Belgian authorities in December 2018, we shared with other organisations the tools and approaches developed during this pilot project, such as specially adapted psychosocial and mental health modules. This was part of our effort to push for improved access to psychosocial support for vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers.

COVID-19 Coronavirus

Most of the world's countries have reported cases of coronavirus disease COVID-19 and MSF teams in over 70 countries are now racing to respond to the pandemic.  

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