A UNHCR report released on Friday shows that the number of people seeking refugee status in industrialized countries continued to climb in the first half of 2014, driven by the wars in Syria and Iraq as well as conflict and instability in countries such as Afghanistan, Eritrea.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie have called for increased efforts by European nations to contribute to the rescue of irregular migrants in peril on the high seas and warned about the scale of the crisis in the Mediterranean.
High Commissioner Antonio Guterres and Special Envoy Angelina Jolie express admiration for Malta’s contribution towards saving lives at sea
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, met Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Monday morning during his first official visit to Malta.
More than 300 people have died while trying to make irregular sea crossings from North Africa to Europe in the past week, bringing the death toll this year from sinking vesels on the Mediterranean to almost 1,900, including some 1,600 since June.
The UN refugee agency said Tuesday it was deeply concerned about the safety of refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya as violence escalates in the troubled North African nation. Almost 37,000 people are registered with UNHCR in Tripoli and Benghazi, with many living in areas heavily damaged by fighting and unable to leave to safer areas.
An Eritrean man was reunited with his three year old son in Malta following a heartfelt appeal to the Maltese authorities last week.