Commenting on the European Council meeting on migration, Aurelie Ponthieu, Migration Advisor for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said:
"Policies of containment and walls of deterrence are not the answer to this global humanitarian crisis. They will only continue to push people into long, dangerous journeys and into the hands of smugglers. Until we can offer safe and legal alternatives to leaky boats and life-threatening journeys in Libya, this extreme suffering will continue.
Policy makers are failing to see that the majority of people have no choice but to come to Europe; fleeing conflict, crisis or chaos in Libya. Even without compulsory relocation, reception capacities and services for people arriving in Greece and Italy will urgently need to be improved to deal with people humanely.
MSF is calling for a radical re-think of migration policy, with the needs of affected people front and centre of efforts to tackle this crisis. The impacts of policy decisions should be measured to ensure that they are not contributing to the heavy toll of human suffering."
MSF has three projects in the Mediterranean sea, including two search and rescue boats - the Dignity and the Argos - run solely by MSF. Teams from the medical humanitarian organisation also work on the Phoenix providing post rescue care, whilst search and rescue is undertaken by MOAS. MSF also provides medical and mental healthcare for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Italy, Serbia and Greece.