The number of migrants arriving on the shores and beaches of Almeria is increasing as more are rescued making the hazardous journey from North Africa in often dilapidated vessels.
Antonia Sanz, Madrid’s delegate to Andalucia, revealed the increase on a visit to a temporary immigrant shelter in Almeria manned by National Police officers and Red Cross volunteers.
In the first nine months of 2016, more people have arrived than the previous four years combined, almost 4,000 since January and roughly 1,000 in September alone.
Breaking down the nationality of the immigrants, he stressed that despite the quickly escalating numbers, their origin remained essentially the same, with the vast majority coming from sub-Saharan Africa and the rest from Morocco and Algeria.
Praising the Forces of State Security (FCSE), who have been on active duty across the Costa Almeria, for their humanitarian efforts, Sanz also singled out the Red Cross volunteers for acting in such difficult circumstances.
He reserved special praise for the Provincial Maritime Service of the Guardia Civil in Almeria (Semar), which is dedicated to the surveillance of local territorial waters.
Noting that Semar had rescued more than 1,200 immigrants from the seas around Almeria this year in 56 separate interventions, he also called for recognition of their dangerous role in combating narcotics traffickers.
Sanz pledged more government resources to help meet the needs of immigrants and staff at the temporary shelter and hailed Andalucia as an “example to the international community on how to show solidarity with those risking their lives for a better future.”