Around 25 children died as a result of the sinking last week of a boat with more than a hundred migrants on board off the coast of Syria, the non-governmental organization Save the Children denounced Tuesday.
The NGO has indicated that at least 24 minors died in the tragedy, which comes after the sinking of two other boats on September 12 and 13 off the coasts of Italy and Lebanon, respectively, which resulted in at least twelve deaths, including seven children.
At least 3,500 people have attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea out of Lebanon so far this year, a figure that has doubled for the second year in a row because of the deep economic, political and social crisis, according to data from the
Save the Children said the crisis is causing Syrian refugees in Lebanon to lose hope and take desperate measures to try to leave the country. “The death of one child at sea is already too much. No child should die searching for their most basic needs,” said the NGO’s Lebanon director, Jennifer Moorehead.
“Lebanon is in its fourth year of crisis, triggered by economic collapse, government paralysis and the impacts of the explosion in the port (on August 4, 2020, which left more than 220 dead and huge material damage),” she has explained.
“These layers of crises have created a deeply complex humanitarian emergency, exacerbated by a collapse of public services and the absence of social safety nets. The situation is affecting everyone: Lebanese, refugees and migrant communities,” he warned.
He has therefore called on the international community to increase access to resettlement opportunities and other safe avenues for Syrian refugees and others to leave the country without resorting to dangerous, life-threatening journeys.
The sinking of the boat off the coast of Tartous resulted in at least 100 deaths, according to the toll provided on Monday by the head of Syrian Ports, Samer Kobarelsi, as reported by the Syrian state news agency, SANA.
The boat, on which a Lebanese flag was hoisted, had departed days earlier from the town of Minié with more than a hundred people on board. Sources cited by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and informants in Syria have detailed that most of the victims are of Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian origin.