6000 landings during last weekend, homeless shelters are collapsing

About 6,000 migrants are rescued in the Mediterranean and arrived in Sicily in the first weekend of June. Thanks to satellite calls from dinghies, the italian Coast Guard was able to coordinate the many relief efforts. While Frontex, which made use of military boats of different European nationalities, run very well. Just as important were the aid provided by NGOs, such as MSF or Moas, which has rescued more than 2000 people.

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Whereas the British newspaper The Guardian claims that at least 500,000 migrants will land on Italian shores by the end of 2015, despite the Italian and European authorities try to stop any alarmism, situation is dramatic.

Palermo and Trapani have received 860 and 548 people each one. These numbers are set to rise in the coming hours. If the rescue at sea have worked through cooperation at the European level of military vessels in the Mediterranean, mainly British, Irish, German and Swedish, places such as Caritas or shelters seem close to collapse.

“In Palermo there is no enough capable bridge structure. We are in an emergency especially in view of the number of people ready to leave Libya. It will be a summer of fire. We put the volunteers in the field and do not pull back,” he reported in La Repubblica Don Sergio Mattaliano, Director of Caritas of Palermo.

40 % of migrants, Syrians, Sudaneses and Eritreans, after initial reception, seeking money to leave for big cities like Rome, Milan, Turin or Bologna. Like in Greece, many of them have to plan to reach Germany, Sweden and Norway. Others, including a large part of minors, remain inside the shelters, only to be routed to other centers located throughout Italy.

Moas has also involved. It haven’t never rescued so many migrants like in these two last days: “This was the single largest back-to-back operation in which M.Y. Phoenix was involved. Within minutes of locating one overcrowded vessel, we spotted another and then another. This kept happening until we found ourselves involved in the rescue of five boats carrying more than 2,000 migrants (6400 since last August) between them”, Ret’d Lt Col. Ian Ruggier who was coordinating efforts on board M.Y. Phoenix said.

“Since proving our capabilities, we have received a huge amount of support from people all over the world who have refused to sit back and watch desperate people drown. Now, our effort also seems to have inspired a number of other organisations to offer their own vessels to the cause. This is a great example of civil society responding to a global problem. We are incredibly proud of what we’re witnessing”, MOAS founder Christopher Catrambone said.
Giacomo Pratali

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