Find Us

Italian Humanitarian groups rush to help migrants as number of new arrivals continues to rise

Migrant centreMigrants wait to board an Italian Coast Guard ship in the Sicilian Island of Lampedusa, Italy.  in Lampedusa
Migrant centreMigrants wait to board an Italian Coast Guard ship in the Sicilian Island of Lampedusa, Italy. in Lampedusa Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Giorgia Orlandi with Philip Andrew Churm
Published on Updated
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

Humanitarian groups are rushing to help thousands of migrants arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa.


The number of migrant landings on the island of Lampedusa in Italy rose again on Thursday after a short break that only lasted a few days. 

The local reception centre, managed by the Italian Red Cross, often ends up being overcrowded.  

The flow of migrants between North Africa, southern Italy and Europe has continued, in part, due to more favourable weather conditions at sea over the summer.

The head of the Migration Unit for the Italian Red Cross, Francesca Basile, told Euronews that aid workers are managing to cope with increased numbers despite the pressure. 

“We have never had problems when it comes to dealing with large numbers of arrivals," she said. "We have always been able to transfer people to other locations. Transfers take place on a daily basis and they allow us to create a good balance between arrivals and departures. 

"Around 120 people in total between employers and volunteers work at the centre. They are specialised in different fields and they are fully trained in all aspects of their work.”

Once they leave Lampedusa, migrants are transferred to other parts of the country.

More than 12,000 unaccompanied minors have arrived in Italy since the beginning of the year. Many of them are sub-Saharan people who fled from Tunisia.

Emma Conti is from the humanitarian organisation, Mediterranean Hope FCEI, she told Euronews: “[Migrants] tell us about the abuses they have suffered during the time they were sent in Tunisia before crossing the Mediterranean." 

"They also tell us they were abused right before leaving the country. Many of them told us they were taken to the desert area near the border with Libya and left there with no water or food.”

This year will likely be remembered as the year with one of the highest numbers of migrant landings. More than 100,000 people have already arrived in Europe since the start of 2023. 

The European Union and Tunisia recently signed a memorandum or agreement under which the North African country pledged to stop migration flows in exchange for more than 100 million euros. 

However, according to the latest figures - and perhaps unlike what the Italian government hoped to achieve in the five weeks after the agreement was signed - there has been no deterrent effect. The number of arrivals has increased compared with the period before the memorandum was signed.

Giorgia Meloni's far-right Italian government has resorted to the help of humanitarian ships, despite once accusing them of favouring irregular migration from Africa.

However, earlier this week, she ordered the blocking of three rescue ships for various reasons, including carrying out more than one rescue and docking in an unassigned port.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Pressure on Meloni grows as Italy's interior ministry announces 100,000 migrant arrivals this year

Anti-immigrants rhetoric divides Italian coastal town of Monfalcone

Lampedusa overwhelmed after receiving over 1000 migrants in a day