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Paris to open first refugee camp by mid-October

Joel Saget, AFP | Refugees and migrants sit in a makeshift camp under an elevated metro line in the north of Paris on March 23, 2016

Paris will open its first refugee camp in mid-October, Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Tuesday, announcing a centre solely for men with an initial capacity of 400.

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The camp, which will be housed at an old railway site in Paris’s northern 18th arrondissement (or district), aims to replace the makeshift camps that keep springing up around the city.

“We have to invent new measures to move beyond the current situation,” Hidalgo told journalists at a press conference in Paris. “This refugee camp corresponds to our values… We are acting with humanity.”

A second site reserved for women, children and “vulnerable” individuals will be opened “before the end of the year” in the southern Paris suburb of Ivry-sur-Seine and will have a capacity of 350 people.

Hidalgo said that the camps will be temporary and cost a total of €6.5 million ($7.2 million), 80 percent of which will be paid for by the City of Paris. The City will also fund 50 percent of operational costs, or a sum of €1.2 million per year.

The announcement comes as yet another makeshift camp housing several hundred people in northern Paris was dismantled by police on Tuesday morning.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

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