This article was last updated on September 13, 2023
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Italian Red Cross Sounds the Alarm
The Italian Red Cross is deeply concerned about the dire humanitarian conditions on the island of Lampedusa. The latest report reveals that there are currently more than 6,000 migrants stranded on the island, while the official capacity is only 440.
Yesterday alone, over 5,000 individuals arrived on Lampedusa in over 100 boats, according to the Italian broadcaster Rai. Rosario Valastro, the director of the Italian Red Cross, describes the situation as a “record-breaking influx.” He emphasizes the urgency to address this crisis promptly.
Tragedy Strikes: Infant Dies in a Boat Capsizing
Tragedy struck this morning as a five-month-old baby lost their life in a boat capsizing incident. The Italian coast guard managed to rescue the remaining 45 migrants on board the vessel.
Tunisia Deal: A Failing Solution
The vessels used by migrants attempting to cross from North Africa to Italy are often unseaworthy. The majority of these individuals are rescued by coast guard ships, customs, or non-governmental organizations before being brought ashore. This situation is not exclusive to Lampedusa but also occurs in ports on the mainland.
In 2023 alone, Italy has already received 115,000 arrivals by boat, surpassing the total of 105,000 for the entire year of 2022. The majority of migrants hail from Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Tunisia.
During the summer, Italian Prime Minister Meloni, along with outgoing Prime Minister Rutte and EU President Von der Leyen, visited Tunisia in an effort to mitigate migration. The discussions included an agreement for Tunisia to enhance border monitoring and combat human smuggling. Italy also committed to significant investments in Tunisia.
However, despite this agreement, the number of people making the treacherous Mediterranean crossing continues to rise. The summer months typically experience a surge in migration due to calmer seas.