More than 5,000 illegal immigrants rescued off the Libyan coast in 2020: UNHCR

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The United Nations Higher Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday said that more than 5,000 illegal immigrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast so far this year, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

“As of June 26, 5,049 refugees and migrants have been registered as rescued/intercepted at sea in 2020, by the Libyan Coast Guard and disembarked in Libya,” UNHCR said.

“By the way of comparison, over the same period in 2019, 3,457 individuals had been disembarked in Libya,” UNHCR added.

UNHCR also said that there are 48,834 refugees and asylum-seekers currently registered with the commission, adding that funding of 84.1 million U.S. dollars is needed for the Commission’s activities in 2020.

Libya is a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe, because of the state of insecurity and chaos in the country that followed the 2011 fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

Shelters in Libya are overcrowded with thousands of migrants who are either rescued at sea or arrested by the authorities, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.