Pope prays for migrant shipwreck victims, calls for solidarity

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After leading the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis recalled the “tragic shipwreck” late last week when 41 migrants died off the Italian island of Lampedusa after their departure from Tunisia. The Pope said he prayed for them. He added that “with sorrow and shame” we remember that almost two thousand men, women and children have already died this year at sea trying to reach Europe from North Africa.

Calling it “an open wound for humanity,” the Pope encouraged political and diplomatic efforts to help heal this suffering “in a spirit of solidarity and fraternity” and with the commitment of everyone to make efforts “to prevent shipwrecks and rescue migrants.”

The United Nations International Organisation for Migration (IOM) describes the Central Mediterranean as one of the most active and most dangerous migration routes globally with more than 75 per cent of the victims in the Mediterranean over the past ten years recorded in this area. IOM, along with the UNHCR and UNICEF have repeated their calls for coordinated search and rescue mechanisms and for states to increase resources and capacities to meet their responsibilities.

Source: vaticannews.va