89 Migrants’ Bodies Recovered from the Atlantic

"89 Migrants' Bodies Recovered from the Atlantic"
Reuters Desperate to get to Europe, migrants from West Africa often travel in overloaded boats - like in this photo from November

The awful loss of life occurred after a boat sank in the Atlantic Ocean, and coastguards have collected the bodies of 89 migrants from Mauritius. The boat, which was formerly a traditional fishing craft, reportedly set off last week from the Senegalese-Gambian border area with about 170 people on board. The dangerous voyage many take in pursuit of Europe is highlighted by the fact that only nine individuals, including a five-year-old daughter, were recovered.

This incident emphasizes the importance of Mauritania as a passageway for West African migrants seeking to reach Europe. Every year, thousands of people leave Mauritania on these dangerous voyages, a reflection of the extreme lengths to which migrants would go in their pursuit of safety and opportunity across the Mediterranean. The Canary Islands in Spain continue to be the most popular stop along this difficult journey; arrivals there doubled from the previous year, according to official statistics from the Spanish government, and the spike was significant.

Overcrowding on boats makes the crossings even more dangerous, as migrants squeeze into vessels that aren’t designed for long sea voyages. The humanitarian organization Ca-mango Fronteras stated that over 5,000 migrants died in the first five months of 2024 trying to cross to Spain by sea due to the increasing fatality rates caused by the dangerous conditions.

Mauritania has received €210 million in help from the European Union in an effort to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and tackle the underlying issues that lead to irregular migration. Initiatives to fight unauthorized migration to Europe are expressly allocated almost €60 million, a substantial amount of this financing. The international community has acknowledged the complex difficulties of irregular migration and the necessity for concerted measures to address them, as demonstrated by this financial support.

The tragic incident off the coast of Mauritania’s southwest underscores the human toll of irregular migration and the critical need for holistic responses that emphasize aid to those in need, global collaboration, and long-term development in the areas of origin.



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