More than 1,000 migrants arrive in Spain’s Canary Islands in 48 hours.
ACCORDING to the country’s Red Cross, Cruz Roja, arrivals on this scale have not been seen on the islands in more than a decade.
Thirty-seven vessels carrying 1,015 people from North Africa or sub-Saharan African nations have made their way to Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Tenerife since Thursday, October 8.
Más de 1.000 refugiados llegan a Canarias!https://t.co/PSTsMDkpgN
La Cruz Roja dice no hubo tantas llegadas durante más de una década. 1.015 personas en casi 40 barcos han llegado a las islas de Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria y Tenerife desde el jueves.
— conny ehrenberg (@ConnyRACING) October 10, 2020
While they were all in good health, Cruz Roja confirmed some were suffering from signs of hypothermia and have all been tested for coronavirus.
In 2006, 30,000 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands.
And between January and the beginning of October this year, more than 6,000 migrants made their way to the islands – compared to 1,000 in the same period in 2019.
The influx is believed to the result of agreements with Turkey, Morocco and Libya which has tightened control over the Mediterranean route to Europe’s shores.
The Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, José Luis Escrivá, visited Las Palmas de Gran Canaria this week, along with other officials.
He thanked all non-governmental organisations, and especially Cruz Roja, for the help they provide in welcoming immigrants.
After learning about the reality that exists in the Arguineguín pier, Escrivá expressed a desire to move towards “standards of first reception in Gran Canaria equivalent to those that exist in other islands, such as Tenerife”.
He highlighted the increase in migratory pressure in the context of a pandemic, such as Covid-19, which brings with it the closure of borders.
“We are working with all the administrations…to identify the most suitable locations to accommodate immigrants arriving in Gran Canarias”.
Escrivá stressed the “traditional solidarity of the Canarian people with migrants” and stressed that he is “aware of the exceptional situation that is being experienced in some islands in recent weeks”.
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