Italy - The number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Italy by sea in 2014 reached a total of 170,100 by year end 2014. That is about four times the number registered in 2013, when the Italian authorities recorded 42,925 arrivals.
The figures, provided by the Italian Ministry of Interior, show that despite the dangerous sea conditions, migrants continued to cross the Mediterranean during the winter, when arrivals usually decrease.
Minister Paolo Gentiloni signed three new cooperation accords with Ethiopia during a visit to Addis Ababa, on food security, socio-economic support for women and healthcare system development.
Ethiopia important for Italian cooperation
Facts and Figures on the arrivals of migrants in Europe
What is smuggling of migrants?
To enter the EU, irregular migrants often turn to smugglers.
Three years after the fall of the former regime, the Libyan people find themselves no closer to realizing their aspirations for a better future. Security conditions continue to deteriorate and life remains hard, particularly for migrants.
According to IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi, an estimated 150,000 migrant workers remain stranded in the country, but some progress is being made in helping the most vulnerable to return home voluntarily.
CORIGLIANO CALABRO, Italy, January 5 (UNHCR) – When the livestock freighter Ezadeen was towed into the southern port of Corigliano Calabro earlier this month, 21-year-old Bashar thought his ordeal was finally over. For almost two weeks, he and his 13-year-old sister Maya had huddled together in pens made for livestock, with more than 350 other Syrian refugees.
Milan, Italy | AFP | Tuesday 6/1/2015 - 15:33 GMT
by Charlène PELE
Cold, cramped, sick and miserable, aboard an old cargo ship left drifting towards the Italian coast -- this was the "journey of death" some 768 desperate Syrian migrants had embarked on in the hopes of a better life in Europe.
Among the 768 were Mustafa and Ragda. Not too long ago, they were part of the middle class in the Syrian economic capital of Aleppo. As the conflict raged, the northern city was transformed into a battlefield and they were forced to leave their land as refugees.
Italy - The spectre of large, disposable crafts bearing hundreds of migrants across dangerous waters in the new year was borne out in terrifying fashion this past week as more than 1,000 migrants, most fleeing Syria, had to be rescued in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to survivors’ accounts, the crews of both vessels deliberately abandoned men, women and children aboard, setting courses for the Italian coastline despite the very real possibility that hundreds might drown.
Corigliano, Italy | AFP | Saturday 3/1/2015 - 21:16 GMT
by Alfonso Di Vicenzo
Italian authorities disembarked 360 cold and hungry migrants Saturday from a ship left adrift by its crew off the country's coast, with some having paid up to $8,000 to traffickers for the perilous journey.
It was the latest in a wave of such incidents involving migrants crossing the Mediterranean to flee conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa and attempting to reach Europe by sea.
2 January 2015 – Senior United Nations officials today stressed the need for urgent action to protect migrants at sea following recent incidents in the Mediterranean involving hundreds of people stranded while attempting to reach Europe.
A ship carrying hundreds of refugees was rescued today off the coast of Italy, after its crew abandoned it. It was the second such incident this week, suggesting a foreboding new stage of an influx of migrants to Europe.
Paris — The fate of hundreds of migrants abandoned in the Mediterranean this week could foreshadow a treacherous year ahead as Europe struggles to address one of its worst refugee crises since World War II.
"The use of larger cargo ships is a new trend, but it is part of an ongoing and worrying situation that can no longer be ignored by European governments. We need urgent European concerted action in the Mediterranean Sea, increasing efforts to rescue people at sea and stepping up efforts to provide legal alternatives to dangerous voyages. Without safer ways for refugees to find safety in Europe, we won't be able to reduce the multiple risks and dangers posed by these movements at sea.
Rome, Italy | AFP | Thursday 1/1/2015 - 23:19 GMT
by Angus MACKINNON
An uncrewed merchant ship carrying 450 migrants has lost power as it headed towards the Italian coast and a helicopter has been sent to lower men on to the vessel, the air force said Thursday.
They will try to bring the ship under control. It is now floating 40 miles (65 kilometres) off Capo di Leuca, the tip of Italy's heel, in choppy seas, the air force said.
Gallipoli, Italy | AFP | Wednesday 12/31/2014 - 11:23 GMT
by Angus MacKinnon in Rome / Nunzio Giove
Italy's coastguard said Wednesday it had narrowly averted another high seas disaster by intercepting a freighter that was on a collision course with the country's rocky shoreline with more than 900 Syrian refugees on board.
Rome, Italy | AFP | Friday 12/26/2014 - 13:23 GMT
The Italian Navy rescued some 1,300 migrants in several operations late on Christmas Day, among them a Nigerian woman who gave birth on board one of the rescue vessels, local media said Friday.
The majority of the migrants were on boats adrift off the coast of Sicily and were expected to be brought ashore later Friday.
Italian media said one man was found dead on board one of the boats.
At least another 1,000 migrants were also rescued by the Italian Navy on Christmas Eve.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation continues to be committed to responding to humanitarian emergencies around the world and to sustaining non-governmental organisations’ efforts to combat hunger, disease and poverty. To facilitate the indispensable work of cooperation volunteers, the Ministry will encourage the rapid application of a Stability Law provision authorizing requests for leave of up to six months for medical and paramedical staff wishing to volunteer in the fight against Ebola on the African continent.
A new batch of urgently needed medical and relief supplies is leaving to the Ebola-affected region in West Africa today on board of the Dutch ship "Karel Doorman".
For the second time, as part of the coordinated European response to the Ebola outbreak, the Netherlands has offered to transport vital supplies free of charge. The vessel is carrying 1,500 tons of food for the World Food Programme (WFP) in addition to more than 50 vehicles, medical supplies and protective clothing for health personnel offered by Belgium, France, Germany and the UK.
Italy - Days before International Migrants Day – observed on December 18th – Italy’s Ministry of the Interior has released November and year-to-date data on migrant arrivals by sea. Through November 30, 2014 Italy reports 163,368 migrants have been rescued at sea this year.
ROME (5 December 2014) – The increasing number of migrants and asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean Sea in the last few months has resulted in a global humanitarian crisis which must have a global humanitarian response, United Nations human rights expert François Crépeau has warned today in Italy.
European Union member states must urgently step up efforts to protect refugees and migrants trying to reach their countries by sea after it was revealed this morning that 16 bodies were found on board a rubber dinghy rescued off the coast of Libya yesterday, said Amnesty International.