UN urges EU states to assist Italy in helping refugees

Last week alone, about 12,000 refugees from Africa arrived in Italy, prompting the Italian government to clarify that it cannot deal with the continuous wave of refugees alone. “What is happening in front of our eyes in Italy is an unfolding tragedy,” a senior UN official stated. “This cannot be an Italian problem alone.”
Illustration Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Due to the continuous wave of refugees, Italy is warning that it will have to close its ports and stop the rescue efforts it carries out when reports of capsized boats carrying refugees are called in. According to the UN, Italy has opened its doors to 500,000 refugees since 2014 and the country now needs help. In the last two weeks alone, about 12,000 refugees entered Italy, prompting the government in Rome to contact the other EU states and ask them to help relieve the crisis. In response to Italy’s request, the foreign ministers of the EU states are expected to discuss the matter.

“What is happening in front of our eyes in Italy is an unfolding tragedy,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi stated. “This cannot be an Italian problem alone.” Last week, the UN agency promised to provide additional financial aid to Italy but asked the European countries to act as well.

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Rescue efforts off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea are still underway but the government in Rome has clarified that other European countries will need to take some of the African refugees into their territory. Since the beginning of this year, 83,650 refugees have entered Italy.

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