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Migrant population

The Anglican Chaplain in Fuerteventura, the Revd Bob Horrocks, said that a growing number of migrants were arriving in the Canary Islands.


“The boats tend to be more substantial — small wooden rather then inflatables — and we are not getting reports of fatalities, although that may be simply because there is not as much attention in terms of international patrol and rescue as in the Mediterranean.

“The difficulty here, as elsewhere, is the support and accommodation of unattended minors, although emergency accommodation is being co-ordinated by the local island governments and the Canarian government as a whole.

“The authorities are looking at the best ways to support the migrants, and seem to have reasonably good systems in place. As in other places, the problem is the increasing numbers and the demands that makes on local resources.”

Language difficulties were a barrier to the involvement of chaplaincy congregations, he said, “although we are watching as things develop to see if there are other ways in which we can help”.

After a meeting with the Secretary of State for Social Services this week, the President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, gave “assurances that the Canary Islands is offering a joint and coordinated response to the increased number of migrant boats arriving.”

Canary Islands Report reported that, after meeting the 54 children Lanzarote is hosting, the Secretary of State confirmed that the state executive had distributed 38 million euros to support the needs of migrant children, and that work was underway “to improve the response, and also to improve coordination between different administrations”.

It was reported that the Canary Islands have the capacity to accommodate 400 unaccompanied children.


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