Switzerland - “I am deeply saddened by the tragic shipwreck that took place on Thursday between Sicily and Lampedusa, in which at least 111 migrants died and over 200 are still missing,” says IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.
“These migrants, many of whom were fleeing war and persecution in countries including Somalia and Eritrea, hoped to find a better life.
They ended up entrusting their lives to human smugglers, risking everything aboard an unseaworthy boat that caught fire, capsized and sank at night. Entire families drowned.
Despite the excellent work of the Italian coast guard and port authorities, who have saved thousands of lives in the Mediterranean over the past two decades, at least 20,000 people have died since 1993.
Much more must be done to prevent this humanitarian crisis and IOM stands ready to work with its European Union, North African and other partners to improve migration management and combat people smuggling.”
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