The Mediterranean migrant crisis continues to escalate, with recent shipwrecks serving as tragic reminders of the urgent need for immediate action. According to the International Organization for Migration, nearly 2,000 migrants have lost their lives this year alone while attempting to reach Europe by sea. In a single devastating incident in June, 500 people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt and elsewhere tragically perished. The loss of countless lives in the Mediterranean Sea demands that we prioritize assistance, search and rescue efforts, as well as protection and humanitarian aid for those affected.

SAMS strongly urges the international community and relevant authorities to take immediate and effective action in response to cases within their extensive search and rescue areas. Rescuing individuals at sea is not only deeply embedded in the values and principles of seafarers, but also a legal mandate under maritime law. With numerous lives hanging in the balance, it is crucial to implement comprehensive and coordinated efforts to ensure timely and effective search and rescue operations. SAMS emphasizes the importance of upholding humanitarian principles, safeguarding the inherent dignity and rights of those in distress at sea.

As migrants and refugees reach European shores, our responsibilities do not end with search and rescue operations. It is imperative to prioritize their protection and provide immediate humanitarian assistance. These individuals have endured unimaginable hardships and are seeking safety and stability. Addressing the Mediterranean migrant crisis necessitates collective efforts and collaboration between nations, organizations, and communities.

To effectively tackle this crisis, it is also vital to address its root causes, including conflict, poverty, and lack of opportunities. By investing in sustainable development, supporting countries of origin, and establishing safe and legal pathways for migration, we can alleviate the desperate circumstances that compel individuals to embark on perilous journeys.

Amid this crisis, SAMS continues to deliver essential healthcare services to migrants and refugees in Greek Long-Term Accommodation Centers. The recent shipwreck resulted in 70 rescued individuals being sent to Malakasa camp, where SAMS plays a critical role in providing primary healthcare services. Through unwavering dedication and tireless efforts, SAMS ensures that those in need receive the necessary medical attention, promoting health and well-being in the face of uncertainty.

The Mediterranean migrant crisis demands immediate action and a comprehensive approach to prioritize assistance, search and rescue efforts, protection, and humanitarian aid for migrants and refugees. Together, we can strive to bring about meaningful change and alleviate the suffering of those affected by this ongoing crisis.