Geneva: The United Nations called for $100 million on Wednesday to help it increase support for African refugees fleeing conflicts and crises, who are embarking on the path of dangerous migration to Europe.
The UN refugee agency is deeply concerned about the sharp increase in the number of people displaced by conflicts in the Sahel region of Africa and the eastern part of the continent.
It said that this is prompting more people to attempt a deadly crossing of the Mediterranean to cross Europe. Last year alone, the Midwest crossing route caused at least 1,064 deaths.
“UNHCR is seeking just over $100 million to enhance refugee protection in African countries en route to the Mediterranean,” the agency said in a statement.
“Offering safe and viable alternatives to the perilous journeys marred by abuse and deaths is the critical priority.”
Violence across the Sahel region, which stretches from Senegal through Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Sudan, has forced around 2.9 million people to flee their homes, according to UN figures.
“With no prospects for peace and stability in the region, further displacement is highly likely,” it warned, stressing that “many continue to attempt risky sea journeys to Europe.”