Elsewhere online
January 06, 2016

Doctors Without Borders Is Ending Mediterranean Rescue Work

Global aid charity Doctors Without Borders is terminating its 8-month-old rescue operation on the Mediterranean Sea and called on the European Union to provide safe and legal means for refugees and migrants to cross over from Africa, Reuters writes.

The nonprofit, whose French name is Medecins Sans Frontieres, said it aided more than 20,000 people in some 120 seagoing missions since launching the effort in April in cooperation with rescue group Migrant Offshore Aid Station. According to the International Organization for Migration, 3,771 people died last year attempting to reach Europe by sea, often journeying in rickety boats arranged by smugglers.

"Whilst we remain absolutely convinced of the importance of dedicated search and rescue in saving lives, we are doctors and search and rescue shouldn't be our job," said Stefano Argenziano, manager of migration operations for the medical charity. "We very much hope that European resources will be sufficient in 2016 and that our boats will not be required."