International aid group Doctors Without Borders said Monday that it has relaunched efforts to rescue migrants making the dangerous Mediterranean Sea crossing from northern Africa to Europe, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports. The medical charity said its 400-capacity rescue ship returned to the waters Saturday, transferring 308, mostly Eritrean migrants to Italy.
The nonprofit, also known as Medecins sans Frontieres, or MSF, conducted such operations through much of 2015 but suspended the work in January, calling on the European Union to do more to safeguard migrants crossing the Mediterranean, often in small, rickety crafts. More than 1,200 people have died this year making the journey, according to the International Organization for Migration.
"The absence of a global solution to the current refugee crisis" and European countries' "refusal to provide alternatives to the deadly sea crossing" are contributing to the toll, said Joanne Liu, international president of Doctors Without Borders.