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IOM, UNHCR: Shipwreck off Libya claims over 40 lives

TRIPOLI – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency reported a shipwreck off the Libyan coast on Tuesday, the first of 2021 in the Central Mediterranean, which claimed the lives of at least 43 people.

According to IOM and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), UNHCR’s partner on the ground, 10 survivors were rescued and brought to shore by Coastal Security in Zwara.

The boat, which embarked in the early hours of Tuesday from the city of Zawya, reportedly capsized due to bad sea conditions when its engine stopped, just a few hours after departure. Survivors, mainly from Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Ghana, and The Gambia, reported that those who perished were all men from West African countries.

IOM staff and UNHCR’s partner, IRC, provided them with emergency assistance, including food, water and medical screenings, before they were released from the port.

IOM and UNHCR reiterated their call on the international community for an urgent and measurable shift in the approach to the situation in the Mediterranean.

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