Shipwreck Survivors Returned Home

This handout photo taken and released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on December 5, 2019.

Shipwreck Survivors Returned Home by Authorities; IOM Provides Immediate Emergency Assistance

Banjul – Mauritanian authorities, in coordination with the Government of The Gambia, returned the 78 survivors of Wednesday’s fatal shipwreck today (9/12). The International Organization for Migration (IOM) had been providing humanitarian assistance to the survivors in Nouadhibou.

Meanwhile, on Friday (6/12), a second fishing boat carrying between 150 and 180 migrants was intercepted by the Mauritanian coast guard. This group was also returned by authorities.

Although the migrants did not return voluntarily, on request of the Government of The Gambia, IOM agreed to provide immediate emergency assistance upon arrival, under the framework of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. This includes immediate medical and psychosocial support, food and essential supplies, temporary accommodation and onward transportation to communities of origin for over 250 individuals who opted to receive assistance.

IOM advocates for migrants rescued at sea to be disembarked through predictable mechanisms and for alternatives to administrative detention to be identified.

IOM will continue to work with The Gambia Red Cross (GRCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Mauritania to help families identify whether their loved ones were among the dead. For any support needed in tracing family members, please reach out to GRCS on any of the following numbers: (+220) 7725957; (+220) 3141063; (+220) 9851611.


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