SOS Méditerranée Suisse celebrates its 5th anniversary with pride and anger

SOS Méditerranée Suisse celebrates its 5th anniversary with pride and anger

The sea rescue NGO SOS Méditerranée Suisse is celebrating its 5th anniversary. Despite the pride of having rescued nearly 37,000 people, she regrets that the migration crisis leaves European states indifferent. In lack of funding, she calls on citizens to help her.

Every day on average, seven migrants die at sea. Like many actors, the NGO, which employs eight people in Switzerland, is affected by the effects of the war in Ukraine, in particular the increase in fuel prices. “Our organization still needs to raise 1.5 million francs to continue our action,” said Monday the director general of SOS Méditerranée Suisse and member of the founders of the international entity, Caroline Abu Sa’Da.

It launches a national mobilization campaign. Several meetings are planned throughout Switzerland, including eight in French-speaking Switzerland from September to October. According to the NGO, the sea rescue network in Switzerland now reaches 300,000 people and itself relies on nearly 200 volunteers in nine cantons.

Nearly 25,000 people have died in less than ten years trying to reach Europe by sea. SOS Méditerranée Suisse, based in Geneva, is still calling for significant government action. Like the UN, it expects safer and more orderly migration from European states, for those fleeing conflict and disaster, with no response yet.

“The conditions in which people try to cross the Mediterranean are extremely dangerous,” said the president of the Swiss branch of the NGO, Richard Watts. Efforts to rescue them “must be supported, encouraged and strengthened”.

Associated with the Red Cross

In recent months, the SOS Méditerranée ship has again been forced to remain at sea with hundreds of migrants on board for several days while waiting for a disembarkation port to be found. States must guarantee an efficient and orderly rescue system, the NGO also reminds us.

SOS Méditerranée can only be “part of the solution”, also insists the director general. The situation could deteriorate in the coming months, fears the NGO.

The international entity SOS Méditerranée has carried out hundreds of rescues in total. Since last September, members of the International Federation of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have also been involved in providing medical care or support to rescued migrants. SOS Méditerranée brings together more than 120 rescuers who alternate on its ship.

This article has been published automatically. Source: ats

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