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27 Apr 2015 description
report Voice of America

Henry Ridgwell

CATANIA, ITALY— Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.

Among the crowd of Syrian refugees in Catania station, it is the number of children that is striking. There are babies just a few weeks old. These Syrians have fled civil war - and they’ve just spent up to 20 days at sea in an old fishing boat.

26 Apr 2015 description

New York—The Italian Government announced that it will increase its 2015 core contribution to the United Nations Development Programme to €4.2m to help UNDP fulfill its coordination role for the UN system.

“I think the UN can have better effects on the ground if it has predictable financing,” Italian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Sebastiano Cardi said. “This is why core financing to UNDP is critical, and Italy would like to participate.”

25 Apr 2015 description

This DREF operation is focusing on supporting, as a priority, the Sicily Regional Branch of the Italian Red Cross (ItRC), and the allocation is to be considered as a start-up loan for a future Emergency Appeal which will cover the whole territory of Italy. The Emergency Appeal will be launched tentatively during the first week of May if it is still needed. If the arrivals of migrants expand to other Italian coasts, then the support will also be extended to those regions.

24 Apr 2015 description

By Damien Naylor, IFRC in Sicily

The figures keep rising until eventually they become impossible to ignore. Thousands of people are making the perilous crossing from the southern shores of the Mediterranean to Europe. And as a consequence, thousands have died. For those that make it, the first words of comfort they receive – in Rhodes, Lampedusa or Sicily – is likely to be from the Red Cross.

24 Apr 2015 description

GINEBRA, 23 de abril de 2015 (ACNUR) – La agencia de la ONU para los refugiados se sumó este jueves a otros organismos en un llamamiento a los líderes europeos para que antepongan la vida, los derechos y la dignidad humana cuando lleguen a un acuerdo hoy sobre la respuesta conjunta a la crisis humanitaria en el Mediterráneo.

24 Apr 2015 description

This bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Italian Red Cross will determine the need for external assistance after the on-going assessment mission is completed this week with the support of the IFRC Secretariat`s Europe Zone Office.


24 Apr 2015 description
report Terre des hommes

Terre des Hommes urges the European Council and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to initiate clear and decisive interventions recognizing and protecting the right to life and finally tackle the legal vacuum adding to death and despair in the Mediterranean.

Human life has to be at the very heart of priorities of what we call our ‘Union’

Given that

24 Apr 2015 description
report Reuters - AlertNet
  • Italy fears migrant number to rise, reaching 200,000 by year-end

  • Ships carrying rescued migrants arrive in Italian ports

  • EU leaders meet in emergency summit on migration crisis

  • Eight more suspected of human trafficking detained in Sicily

By Philip Pullella and Antonella Cinelli

ROME, April 23 (Reuters) - As many as 5,000 migrants a week could arrive in Italy by sea from North African ports in the next five months unless something is done about the issue, according to an interior ministry projection.

23 Apr 2015 description

By y Paul Adams

In the grounds of an imposing 19th Century villa, perched on a Sicilian hilltop, some 50 West African boys lounge in the sun, kick a ball about, and wait.
Read the full article

23 Apr 2015 description

Genève, 23 avril (HCR) – L'agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés a appelé jeudi – conjointement avec d'autres organisations – les dirigeants européens à prioritairement sauver des vies ainsi que garantir les droits et la dignité, dans leur réponse commune à la crise humanitaire en Méditerranée.

23 Apr 2015 description

Each time a boat comes in to the wharf in the coastal town of Pozzallo, Sicily, Mayor Luigi Ammatuna stands ready with his Mayor chain in red, white and blue to greet the migrants and refugees. “I want to show that the entire town is excited that they have made it here, and I want to show them the respect that they deserve”, the mayor says.

23 Apr 2015 description

Catania, Italy | AFP | Thursday 4/23/2015 - 13:37 GMT

People smugglers responsible for the Mediterranean's worst disaster in decades beat several migrants to death and executed at least one minor before the boat left Libya with more than 750 people aboard, survivors have told investigators.

The Prosecutor's office in the Sicilian city of Catania on Thursday identified the 26 men who, along with two crew members, were the only survivors of Sunday's catastrophe, saying publication of the names by the media was the only way they could inform friends and family.

22 Apr 2015 description

GENÈVE, 22 avril (HCR) – Le HCR s'est félicité mardi du Plan d'action européen pour répondre aux problèmes de la migration irrégulière en Méditerranée. L'agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés a toutefois annoncé que davantage doit être fait, après que des centaines de réfugiés et de migrants aient péri en haute mer.

En particulier, le Haut Commissaire assistant en charge de la protection Volker Türk a déclaré à Genève qu'une opération robuste de recherche et de sauvetage et des voies juridiques crédibles à ces traversées périlleuses demeurent nécessaires.

22 Apr 2015 description

Athens, Greece | AFP | Wednesday 4/22/2015 - 16:52 GMT

A young Afghan migrant who tried to smuggle onto a car ferry headed for Italy by clinging to the undercarriage of a tourist bus died after being run over by the coach, Greek news agency ANA reported Wednesday.

The incident took place Tuesday night on a ferry linking Igoumenitsa in northwest Greece with Bari across the Adriatic Sea in southeast Italy, ANA said.

As the bus drove onto the ferry ramp, the 21-year-old migrant was struck and fatally injured by the axle.

22 Apr 2015 description
report Guardian

Chiara Montaldo is working with Médecins Sans Frontières in Sicily, where 700 migrants have arrived in the past week, all in vessels unsafe for travel

I’m in Pozzallo, a small tourist town on the south coast of Sicily. In the past week, more than 700 migrants have arrived here – 373 on Tuesday, 300 on Friday and 100 on Sunday. Our team is tired out after working day and night. The reception centre in Pozzallo was designed for just 180 people. Some of those arriving crossed the sea in rubber dinghies, others in wooden boats, but not one of the vessels was safe to travel in.

22 Apr 2015 description

Rome, Italy | AFP | Wednesday 4/22/2015 - 13:12 GMT


Italy on Wednesday called on the European Union and UN to set up operations in African countries south of Libya to help stem the flow of migrants heading for Europe.

"We have to go to the root (of the problem) and discourage these men and women from leaving their countries," Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told deputies in a statement to parliament on his objectives for Thursday's emergency EU summit on the Mediterranean migrant crisis.

22 Apr 2015 description
report Amnesty

Amnesty International’s “Blueprint for Action” to end refugee and migrant deaths in the Med

On the eve of an emergency summit in Brussels, Amnesty International is publishing a Blueprint for Action calling on European governments to take immediate and effective steps to end an ongoing catastrophe that has left thousands of refugees and migrants dead.

22 Apr 2015 description
report Caritas

By Piero Galvano

The 27 migrants who survived the shipwreck must have been exhausted when they arrived in Sicily (800 are believed to have drowned). First the shipwreck, in which they lost family and friends, then they were taken to Malta, and then they had a 9 hour journey by boat from Malta to Sicily.

21 Apr 2015 description

Riga, Latvia | AFP | Tuesday 4/21/2015 - 18:32 GMT

The European Commission on Tuesday urged EU members to tackle the health challenges posed by the influx of asylum seekers in the Mediterranean, including sharing hospital resources.

"The emergency is there, now, it's concrete," Commission official Ladislav Miko told reporters in Latvia's capital Riga.

There was "suffering which needs to be addressed very fast," he added.

21 Apr 2015 description

Benghazi, Libya | AFP | Tuesday 4/21/2015 - 15:46 GMT

Libya has long been a transit country for African migrants, but their movement has intensified since Moamer Kadhafi's fall as militias have turned to the lucrative business of people smuggling.

Why Libya?

The shores of Libya are only about 300 kilometres (185 miles) from Lampedusa, the southernmost island of Italy now sheltering thousands of illegal migrants.