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441 migrants died crossing Mediterranean in 3 months

April 13, 2023 at 12:15 pm

Refugees are seen after being rescued from the Mediterranean Sea on 15 June 2017 [Marcus Drinkwater/Anadolu Agency]

A total of 441 migrants died while attempting to cross the Central Mediterranean for Europe between January and March of this year, the United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said yesterday.

IOM Director General António Vitorino said that 2023’s first quarter was the “deadliest first quarter on record since 2017.”

“The persisting humanitarian crisis in the Central Mediterranean is intolerable,” Vitorino warned, noting that over 20,000 deaths were recorded on this route since 2014.

The UN official added that the international community “must respond,” stressing that “delays and gaps in State-led search and rescue (SAR) operations are costing human lives.”

READ: IOM says first quarter of 2023 deadliest for migrants crossing Mediterranean