BBC News

Calais migrant camp grows as winter approaches

image copyrightAFP

Aerial photos show how the migrant camp at Calais, known as "the Jungle", has spread across the wasteland near the ferry terminal as the migrant crisis has intensified.

The number of people crammed into the makeshift camp is now estimated to be between 4,000 and 6,000 men, women and children.

There were around 2,500 people at the start of June.

"We are on the brink of collapse," Jean-Francois Corty, head of the French division of Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) told the AFP News agency.

"The social welfare system is inadequate and so are the delays to process asylum applications," he said.

"It is unacceptable for a country, the sixth biggest world economic power, to support that."

See how the makeshift camp has grown by moving the slider below

October 2015

July 2015

Source: AFP, Reuters

Aerial image of camp in July 2015

image copyrightReuters

Aerial image of camp in October 2015

image copyrightAFP

French officials have said women and children at the camp will be given heated tents by the end of the week, while they plan to double capacity at a centre that currently has space for 200.

The authorities also plan to increase the number of police officers deployed to the area to help manage security.

image copyrightAFP
image captionBlue tarpaulins cover many of the shelters, structures and tents to protect against the elements as winter approaches.
image copyrightAFP
image captionWet weather has turned the camp's roads into a quagmire

Most of the people at the camp have fled conflict and poverty in Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan and are trying to seek refuge across the Channel in the UK.

Some people have tried to hide on lorries, while others have attempted to board trains heading to England via the Channel Tunnel - sometimes with fatal consequences.

image copyrightAFP
image captionThe site has basic facilities for the thousands living there
image copyrightAFP
image captionKeeping warm is a priority for the migrants as colder weather sets in

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says more than 650,000 migrants have reached Europe this year.

image copyrightAFP
image captionSome migrants have set up shops, cafes and restaurants as they wait to make the journey on from Calais

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.