Nearly 1,500 migrants rescued off Libya

Nearly 1,500 migrants, including many women and children, have been rescued in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya over the past two days, the Italian coastguard said Monday.
A total of 1,482 people were picked up in about a dozen rescue operations at sea on Sunday and Monday, according to the Italian coastguard which coordinated the search and rescue efforts.
They did not release the nationalities of the migrants and refugees.
They said 730 people were rescued on Sunday and 752 on Monday. They did not provide a breakdown of the number of children and women on board.
The UN refugee agency said last week that nearly 14,500 migrants had arrived in Italy via Libya since the start of the year, up 42.5 per cent on the same period a year earlier.
Libya has long been a stepping stone for migrants seeking a better life in Europe, with Italy some 300 kilometres across the sea.
European leaders fear that a recent deal with Ankara to stem the flow of migrants arriving in Greece via Turkey will increase crossings attempts from Libya.
Meanwhile, wealthy countries have resettled only a fraction of the nearly five million refugees who have fled Syria, Oxfam said on Tuesday, urging them to step up and do their share.
The British charity called on wealthy countries to resettle at least 10 per cent of the 4.8 million Syrian refugees registered in the region surrounding the war-ravaged nation by the end of the year.
So far, rich countries have pledged few than 130,000 resettlement spots, and only around 67,100 people—a mere 1.39 per cent of the refugees—have made it to their final destinations since 2013, Oxfam said.
The charity issued its report ahead of an unprecedented UN-hosted conference in Geneva on Wednesday, where countries will be asked to pledge resettlement spots for Syrian refugees.
As the brutal conflict enters its sixth year, most of the people who have fled are located in Syria’s immediate neighbours such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
But as the war has dragged on and conditions have worsened in the surrounding states, Syrians have increasingly set their sights on Europe, accounting for most of the more than one million migrants who risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean last year.

source : the new age

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