“Urgent” food aid for 800 migrants stranded in Italy

File photo: Hundreds of migrants in an overcrowded boat crossing the Mediterranean Sea. AFP

German NGO Mission Lifeline said its ship Rise Above delivered “emergency relief supplies” to hundreds of people trapped aboard the charity ship Sea Eye 4, including more than 200 minors.

The Sea Eye 4 was already carrying nearly 400 people to safety at sea when it ran to the rescue of another 400 people crammed onto a wooden boat on Thursday.

The Ocean Viking, an SOS Mediterranean charity ship, is also seeking a port for the more than 300 people it has rescued, bringing the number of migrants seeking to disembark in Italy to over 1,100.

There were “many children under the age of 10” and five pregnant women aboard the Sea Eye 4, the NGO said in a statement, adding that more than 200 people had been treated so far at the hospital. on board.

“Right now we get more support from the small sea rescue organization Mission Lifeline based in Dresden than from all the EU states put together! Sea Eye chairman Gorden Isler was cited.

“Our crew are working to the limits of what is humanly possible. The vessel must be cleared to dock immediately to ensure the safety of all rescued and crew,” he said.

Italy is one of the main entry points to Europe for migrants from North Africa, mainly Libya and Tunisia, with tens of thousands seeking to cross the central Mediterranean each year.

As part of the “closed ports” policy of the previous Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, European states had to agree to take a certain number of rescued migrants before charity ships were allowed to dock.

Isler said “negotiations on the distribution of the survivors” should be conducted after the migrants land.

Nearly 55,000 migrants have landed in Italy this year, compared to just under 30,000 last year, according to figures from the Interior Ministry.

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