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226 Asylum-Seekers Evacuated from Libya to Italy, Nigeria

226 Asylum-Seekers Evacuated from Libya to Italy, Nigeria

Saturday, 2 July, 2022 - 08:00
Irregular migrants during their evacuation from Libya to Italy. (UNHCR)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) evacuated on Friday 95 asylum-seekers and refugees from Libya to safety in Italy.

They included children, women, survivors of violence, the organization stated, noting that it relies on the international community to provide safe pathways out of Libya for some of the most vulnerable.

This humanitarian flight is supported by the Italian government and is part of the agreed upon mechanism with in 2016, which combines emergency evacuations and humanitarian corridors and is set to benefit 500 people, the statement added.

It said the evacuated people, including Eritrean, Sudanese and Syrian nationals, will receive support upon their arrival in Italy from a coalition of religious organizations.

The UNHCR added that it has evacuated 997 asylum seekers from Libya to Italy since 2017, while 8,372 people left Libya on evacuation or resettlement trips during the same period.

Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said 131 Nigerian migrants returned from Libya last week as part of its Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) Program.

IOM's VHR is a life-saving program for migrants stranded in Libya who wish to return home.

The voluntary return program was resumed in Libya in August 2021, after being paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of migrants from African and Asian countries arrive in Libya on an almost daily basis to search for work or escape to Europe by sea. They often fall victims to human trafficking gangs.

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