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Philanthropists should support citizens’ projects aimed at helping migrants

Press release

(Brussels, October 25th, 2016) – Philanthropists, NGOs and public institutions should support citizens’ projects that aim at helping migrants, such as the association SOS MEDITERRANEE which rescue migrants from shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea, said “Fondation pour l’Egalité des Chances en Afrique” today.

SOS MEDITERRANEE was created in 2015. It provides assistance to distressed people in the seaway who are located in the scope of its action. The concerned people are men, women and children; migrants and refugees that are in danger of death. The actions of SOS MEDITERRANEE take place in the framework of the international maritime rules, in complete coordination with the Center for coordination of the rescue operations, based in Rome.

There are currently men, women and children who flee from violence, persecution and torture in their country of origin such as Libya, in which a great deal of chaos takes place. They prefer risking their life trying to cross the sea rather than living in hell. Among them, thousands of unaccompanied minors attempt the crossing without parents or any tutor. A humanitarian response has become vital in the Mediterranean Sea”, stated Fabienne Lassalle, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SOS MEDITERRANEE France.

SOS MEDITERRANEE has charted a 77 meters long ship, The Aquarius, in order to save crafts that are about to sink. It can receive around 500 people and up to 700 in case of emergency. The crew includes at least 6 volunteer rescue workers and 7 to 8 members from Doctors Without Borders to provide first assistance to the survivors. The Aquarius is based in Sicily, in the Trapani’s port. Since February 2016, SOS MEDITERRANEE has already saved more than 7.000 people.

 “The Fondation pour l’Egalité des Chances en Afrique considers as its duty to carry this humanist project, which is so essential in a time in which thousands of people are losing their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea”, stated Georges Henri Beauthier, member of the Foundation’s Board. “We are calling all philanthropists, national or international ones, private or public ones, to bring their help to these projects that demonstrate that citizens’ mobilizations can save lives, whereas no effective policy has been implemented yet”.

The Mediterranean Sea has become a cemetery. Since January 2016, more than 3.600 migrants (including men, women, children and infants) have lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea, while fleeing oppressive regimes, wars, economic crisis or consequences of climate change. According to the International Organization for Migration, from January 1st to May 30th 2016, 204.311 migrants and refugees entered Europe by seaway.

The Foundation works on several fronts to ensure that migration does not remain a source of misfortune for civilians. In this regard, it currently works on a project that will guarantee the resettlement and integration of migrants turned away from Europe, who, once arrived in some African countries, fall into poverty, uprootedness and exclusion.

The “Fondation pour l’Egalité des Chances en Afrique” has been recognized as a public utility organization following a Belgian royal decree in 2015. The Foundation was created by the businessman Mohamed Bouamatou together with human rights lawyers. Its main purpose is to strengthen rule of law, democracy and equal opportunities through transparency of the public life and the fight against corruption in Africa.

The “Fondation pour l’Egalité des Chances en Afrique” participates in the funding of the projects of SOS MEDITERRANEE with the amount of 20.000 euros.

Follow this link to know more about SOS MEDITERRANEE:

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Second rescue for the Aquarius and SOS MEDITERRANEE. 119 people were saved, including 13 women and 2 babies


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