20 May 2015
The British Red Cross has pledged £94,000 to help survivors of migrant boat journeys across the Mediterranean.
The money will give migrants food, clean water and emergency medical care as soon as they arrive in Italy. Hundreds have died attempting the crossing in the last few months.
The cash will be drawn from the British Red Cross Disaster Fund, which helps people affected by emergencies around the world.
The Red Cross has been supporting migrants landing in Italy for months. It is prioritizing help for people who need it most: those needing urgent treatment, children travelling on their own, pregnant women and women caring for children.
Many people making the journey come from conflict-hit countries such as Syria and Iraq.
Call for a collective response
This month 20 European Red Cross national societies joined together to call for a collective response to the crisis.
Italy, Greece and Malta are currently shouldering the responsibility of looking after migrants who make it across the Mediterranean.
British Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson said: “The solutions will not be easy to find, but a productive debate is definitely needed if we are to develop a comprehensive Europe-wide strategy to address the whole migrant journey from start to finish.”
“That includes the terrible pressures that force mass migration in the first place. Piecemeal measures will not solve this complex crisis.”