450 refugees rescued in Italy

14
Geneva

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced Tuesday that 450 refugees were rescued and sent to Italy.

These refugees, including some 180 children, were rescued by German non-governmental organization Sea Watch and disembarked on the port of Trapani in Sicily, Italy.

“Since the early hours of Saturday 1 May, some 1,500 persons have disembarked in Italy,” UNHCR spokesperson Carlotta Sami said.

“Most of the arrivals departed from Libya on-board flimsy, unseaworthy vessels and made repeated distress calls,” she said.

There is a sharp increase in the number of refuges crossing the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe, as 10,400 people arrived in Italy in 2021, 170 percent more than in the first five months of 2020.

Furthermore, the UNHCR noted that at least 500 people died at sea in 2021, far more than 150 during the same period in 2020.—Agencies