MP for the Left Greens Svandís Svavarsdóttir announced on Facebook yesterday that her party will put forward a motion in parliament that the Icelandic government allocates additional funds to the Icelandic Coast Guard so that its ship Týr can continue its work in the Mediterranean.
Týr and an Icelandic Coast Guard surveillance plane TF-Sif along with other vessels and aircraft taking part in the Frontex-coordinated Joint Operation Triton have been assisting the Italian authorities in the rescue of migrants.
Up to 800 people are feared to have drowned after a boat capsized over the weekend. More than 36,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in southern Europe by boat this year with 13,500 having been rescued in a period of one week, April 10-17. If the latest death toll is confirmed, a total of 1,600 people have died attempting the crossing this year, UNHCR reports.
EU foreign and interior ministers held an emergency meeting in Luxembourg yesterday and announced a ten-point action plan on migration.
The Norwegian government announced yesterday that it would send a ship and manpower to assist in the Mediterranean, mbl.is reports.
The Italian government has long requested assistance from other European countries. The vast majority of migrants arriving in Europe from North Africa arrive first in Italy.
A record number of refugees died attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2014. More than 3,400 people perished in the waters off Europe last year, according to UNHCR. A total of 207,000 made the journey, three times as many as in 2011, which was a record year. The largest group was from Syria, or 60,000 individuals.