Geneva, 1 August 2018 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) welcomes the decision taken by Tunisian authorities to allow 40 vulnerable migrants to finally disembark from the Sarost 5.

The group was first picked up on 16 July and have experienced two difficult weeks aboard the commercial vessel. The decision was taken by the Tunisian Government to allow them to enter Tunisia “for humanitarian reasons.”

The group disembarked earlier today and is en route to a Tunisian Red Crescent reception centre.

The Tunisian Red Crescent provided medical and other humanitarian assistance to people on board and helped them connect with their loved ones in their countries of origin.

IFRC Secretary General Elhadj As Sy said: “We appreciate the decision taken in recent days. We believe that all people, regardless of their immigration status, have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and have the right to access basic humanitarian services. We view this decision as a commitment by the Tunisian government to uphold these humanitarian norms.

“We also salute the dedication and commitment of our colleagues from the Tunisian Red Crescent. They have been a light during a dark two weeks. We will support them now as they accompany the people disembarking.”

IFRC staff were involved in the most recent visit to the Sarost 5 and will continue to assist the Tunisian Red Crescent in the weeks ahead.

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In Tunis: Pro. Abed Latif Chabbou, President of Tunisia Red Crescent, +21622551044

In Beirut: Rana Sidani Cassou, +961 71 80 2779

In Geneva: Matthew Cochrane, +41 79 251 80 39,

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