Con­ti­nent deal­ing with worst mi­gra­tion cri­sis since the end of World War II

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

GENEVA — The UN refugee agency is heap­ing pres­sure on Europe to help Italy defuse the “un­fold­ing tragedy” of tens of thou­sands mi­grants flood­ing its shores.

Italy needs more in­ter­na­tional sup­port to cope with a grow­ing num­ber of mi­grants who have braved a per­ilous Mediter­ranean cross­ing to reach Europe this year, UN High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on Satur­day.

“What is hap­pen­ing in front of our eyes in Italy is an un­fold­ing tragedy,” Grandi said in a state­ment.

“In the course of last week­end, 12,600 mi­grants and refugees ar­rived on its shores, and an es­ti­mated 2,030 have lost their lives in the Mediter­ranean since the begin­ning of the year.”

Italy, he said, was “play­ing its part” in tak­ing in those res­cued and of­fer­ing pro­tec­tion to those in need. “These ef­forts must be con­tin­ued and strength­ened. But this can­not be an Ital­ian prob­lem alone.”

Sep­a­rately, a source in Paris said the in­te­rior min­is­ters of France, Germany and Italy would meet in the French cap­i­tal on Sun­day to dis­cuss a “co­or­di­nated ap­proach” to help Rome.

Last week, Italy threat­ened to close its doors to peo­ple ar­riv­ing on boats which were not fly­ing Ital­ian flags.

Root causes

Europe has to get fully in­volved through an “ur­gent dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem” of mi­grants and should widen le­gal chan­nels so that mi­grants can be ad­mit­ted, Grandi said.

He also called for greater in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to tackle the causes of mi­gra­tion to pro­tect peo­ple and to fight traf­fick­ing.

Since the begin­ning of the

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