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Mother and toddler struggle to get by in France's Grande-Synthe migrant camp

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A mother feeds her child at the migrant camp in Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk in northern France
A mother feeds her child at the migrant camp in Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk in northern France Brenna Daldorph/RFI

Many Kurdish families are living in squalid conditions in the growing migrant camp in the northern French town of Grande-Synthe, as they wait for the chance to cross the border into England. In January, there were some 250 children there, though some say the number is higher. RFI's Brenna Daldorph spent the day with one mother and her toddler, who are just trying to get by in the camp.  

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Since 2015, many refugees and migrants have been bypassing the well-known camps in Calais and heading to a new 'jungle' in the small town of Grande-Synthe, a suburb of Dunkirk. Many families have traveled there because they say they feel safer there than in Calais. The conditions, however, are much worse than in Calais. Even in freezing weather, families have no option but to stay in tents, many of which have been flooded by winter rains.

New facilities are being built nearby by the French humanitarian organisation Médécins Sans Frontières, but the aren't ready yet. Until then, the camp's residents remain in dire conditions.

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