20 April 2015
The Italian Red Cross continues to help migrants landing in Europe after the perilous sea crossing from Africa.
Hundreds of migrants are thought to have died trying to cross Mediterranean in the last few days. Many more are arriving in southern Italy in poor health after a dangerous journey in overcrowded boats.
Red Cross staff and volunteers are giving food, water and health care to the new arrivals, and in some cases taking them to hospital. Those making the journey include refugees from conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
Speaking last week, British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson said: “Sadly, the recent deaths are not a new phenomenon but they do underline the urgent need for safe and legal routes to Europe for people seeking protection.
“The Red Cross believes that a commitment from the EU to identify and rescue boats in distress swiftly is imperative. This, coupled with humanitarian visas - which would allow those seeking asylum to travel safely - could prevent these needless deaths.
“Until this is addressed, people will continue to die and that is source of shame for us all.”