Beirut / Geneva, 29 July 2016 – As drownings in the Mediterranean Sea become a near-daily occurrence, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls on governments and institutions to protect dignity and save lives by ensuring safe and effective transit for people who migrate.

“Almost every day, more bodies wash up on Libya’s coastline,“ said Elias Ghanem, director of the IFRC Middle East and North Africa region. “We call on world leaders to end these needless deaths by ensuring safe passage across the Mediterranean.”

The latest deaths add to a growing tally of tragedies in the Mediterranean. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that the number of lives lost in the crossing has already exceeded 3,000 in 2016. 2,600 of these have been recorded on the central Mediterranean route – between Libya and Italy.

Red Cross and Red Crescent teams in Libya, Italy, Greece and on the seas between continue to provide assistance to people in need, wherever they are, irrespective of their legal status.

Libyan Red Crescent support people passing through the country on a search for a safer, better life. On the country’s shores, volunteers give some dignity to those whose lives end on the high seas by collecting and transporting bodies with care and respect.

For frequent updates on the activities of Libyan Red Crescent visit or follow @LibyaRC and @IFRC_MENA on Twitter.


For more information, please contact:

Baha’a Alkwash, communication manager, Libyan Red Crescent
E-mail: | Tel: +218 91 333 4336 / +218 92 492 9521

In Beirut:

Stephen Ryan, communication coordinator – Middle East and North Africa region, IFRC
E-mail: | Twitter: @stiofanoriain | Mobile: +961 71 802 779

In Geneva:

Benoit Carpentier, team leader – public communications, IFRC
E-mail: | Twitter: @BenoistC | Mobile: +41 79 213 2413

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Media contacts

Stephen Ryan
Communications coordinator – MENA, IFRC
T: @stiofanoriain
M: +961 71 802779