The International Organization for Migration(IOM) has warned that 30,000 migrants seeking refuge from economic hardships and conflicts in their homelands, could die this year in perilous journeys on the Mediterranean Sea. And this stark possibility underscores the dire need to attain stability in the lands of conflicts and failing economies.
Hence, the Syrian war, now in its fifth year and perpetrated by Bashar al Assad, begs for a solution to closure. The conflict in Libya demands an end. The Ukraine crisis requires a permanent fix. The still evolving conflict in Yemen calls for a solution and the deepening economic conditions in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia, merit amelioration.
Yesterday, off the coast of Libya, Italian and French sea rescue efforts plucked 3,690 migrants from the Mediterranean in 17 operations. These rescues come on the heal of a recent tragedy of the death of 800 migrants from a single vessel on the said Mediterranean, raising the number of migrant deaths on the sea to 1,754 so far this year, compared to a total of 3,279 in 2014.
The BBC-News reported earlier today that these migrant deaths so far this year, is indicative of a 20-fold increase in deaths during the same period last year when 96 people died. Moreover, the Associated Press(AP) reported that 170,000 migrants were rescued by Italy last year which represented a 277 percent increase over the figures in 2013. Reuters cites expected figures of 200,000 migrants arriving in Italy this year representing a 30,000 increase over 2014 numbers.
While the European Union(EU) in an emergency session on refugees last month agreed to triple funding for search and rescue operations, the unknown fate of many migrants will continue to be perilous on the Mediterranean.
Therefore, the only viable solution to the deaths of migrants on the Mediterranean must rests with stabilizing and ameliorating the conditions that give rise to the desperate exodus of so many people from their homelands.