Due to running out of supplies and deteriorating weather conditions, passengers on board three charitable vessels in the Mediterranean Sea are waiting for permission to disembark in Italy or Malta.
SOS Mediterranee, SOS Humanity, and Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) boats have been at sea for more than a week, carrying a combined total of approximately 1,000 passengers.
According to report on Aljazera, Italy’s new right-wing government has acknowledged the receipt of their requests to disembark but has stopped short of greenlighting their entrance into port.
“The latest request was made yesterday evening but we received no response,” Riccardo Gatti, MSF team leader on board the Geo Barents, told Al Jazeera via video message.
Similar requests forwarded to the Maltese government have gone unacknowledged.
Gatti said on Saturday the Geo Barents had entered Italian waters to find shelter from an incoming storm, carrying 572 people on board, including an 11-month-old and three pregnant women.
MSF media adviser Candida Lobes said water was being rationed and food supplies were also dwindling. Due to overcrowding, respiratory and skin infections were also spreading.
“The situation is simply unacceptable,” Lobes said
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