Photo used for illustrative purpose.
Thousands of Africans take long, perilous journeys to Europe each year often traversing the Sahara desert and leaving the North African shores on small, inflatable boats fleeing hardship or seeking a better life. Last year, the UNHCR reported 3,077 people as dead or missing, nearly double the 2020 toll.
"We are seeing the increases soar," UNHCR's Shabia Mantoo told a news briefing in Geneva. "It's alarming."
UNHCR began releasing consolidated tolls in 2019 and the number of lives lost has risen each year.
So far in 2022, 553 are reported dead or missing and, consistent with previous years, most have died on the Central Mediterranean route, the data showed.
The tolls do not include those lost along land routes such as through the punishing Sahara Desert nor those lost in smuggler-run detention centres where survivors have reported sexual violence and forced marriage and labour.
The dead and missing came from a range of North and Sub-Saharan African countries including Tunisia, Morocco, Mali, Guinea, Eritrea, Egypt, Ivory Coast and Senegal as well as Iran, Syria and Afghanistan, Mantoo said.
"We have been urging that there needs to be humanitarian and development action that needs to be strengthened to address these drivers that force people to move in the first place," she added.
She also reiterated concerns about pushbacks, following the release of a report by the UN rights office last year which said that the European Union is partly to blame for deaths in the Mediterranean due to unanswered distress calls and the obstruction of humanitarian rescue efforts.
Most of the victims of Thursday's truck crash in southern Mexico that killed at least 54 people and injured dozens more were Guatemalan migrants, authorities said on Friday. People spilled from the truck carrying an estimated 166 people after it flipped over on a curve outside the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez in the state of Chiapas.
A spokesman of the Red Crescent said that 84 migrants were rescued and more than 40 others were missing after a boat carrying 127 migrants sank off the coast of Zarzis.
The mission in Rome said that the bodies of 28 Pakistanis have been fished out of the sea by the rescue officials, however, 12 more citizens are still missing.
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The move is part of a bakery project initiated by the ERC to alleviate the severe shortage of bread within the Gaza Strip and ease the harsh humanitarian conditions they currently endure.
The highly skilled Air Wing search and rescue teams of Ras Al Khaimah Police successfully rescued seven stranded Asians who had lost their way in the rugged terrain of Wadi Shahha in Ras Al Khaimah.