THE Valencian Community in Spain closed 2019 with almost 700 undocumented immigrants intercepted on board 60 boats, nearly twice as many as the year before (353).
According to data provided by the Red Cross in Alicante, the total number of people treated on land has been 673, of which 126 are minors and 11 women, while it was necessary to transfer 18 of these immigrants to hospital.
The main nationality of origin was Algerian, with more than 600 of the 673 immigrants, followed by Moroccans, some Libyans and also about 20 people of Syrian origin.
In 2018 there were 353 immigrants intercepted including 10 women and 65 minors on board 37 boats and a year earlier there were 388 ( fourwomen and 71 minors), according to Red Cross figures.
The first year this type of boat arrived was 2007 with 38 immigrants, a figure that remained stable with a slight increase until 2014, when seven boats reached the southern coasts of the Comunitat Valenciana 84 people (all men, 30 of whom said they were under 18).
In 2015, there was a drop as three boats and 26 immigrants were registered (no women and 11 minors) while in 2016 there were nine boats and 116 people (24 minors).
The wave of boats seems not to be about to stop – last night 12 more people arrived in Alicante, three of them minors.
The head of the Red Cross’ operations in Alicante, Patricia Compañ, explained that the charity takes care of these people who, in the vast majority of cases, arrive with signs of hypothermia and cold.
“They come wet and we provide them with a blanket, clothing and hygiene kit so that, once they are warm, we can give them high-energy food.”