Crowdfunding to save migrants at sea: €35,000 raised in one month – MOAS

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Crowdfunding to save migrants at sea: €35,000 raised in one month - MOASHundreds of people have donated almost €35,000 to Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) after the NGO launched an appeal for funds in November to help it continue saving migrants drowning at sea.

“The response so far has been fantastic. It is great to see so many compassionate people around the world willing to share their resources to help those who are most in need and at their most vulnerable. We are grateful for every donation,” said MOAS director Brig. Martin Xuereb, Malta’s former Chief of Defence.

MOAS, which is equipped with a 40-metre ship, two drones, two rescue RHIBs and a large crew of experienced rescuers and doctors, saved around 3,000 men, women and children during 60 days of patrols around the Mediterranean Sea this summer.

The NGO, which operates from the Mediterranean island of Malta, requires around €400,000 per month of operations.

Donations can be made here: www.moas.eu/10/Donate. MOAS has so far been funded solely by Christopher and Regina Catrambone, a young Malta-based Italo-American couple in their 30s.

However, the mission now can no longer be funded by one couple with limited means and is dependant on the public’s participation.

Most of the donations have arrived from Germany but also from countries like Italy, Spain, France and the Netherlands. There was also one donation all the way from China.

The Mediterranean Sea has in the last two decades witnessed the drowning of more than 20,000 migrants, most of whom took off from Libya’s coast in overcrowded, unseaworthy boats coordinated by traffickers.

Just last weekend, the Italian navy reported that another 17 migrants died from hypothermia or dehydration while trying to cross the Mediterranean in a rubber dinghy. This is usually the last phase of a very long and treacherous journey towards safety as migrants would have travelled all the way from conflict zones like Syria, Gaza, Eritrea, Somalia and other parts of Africa and the Middle East, said MOAS.

MOAS, which is set to become the world’s first crowd-funded search and rescue service, is dedicated to saving lives at sea by cooperating with national and regional authorities.

The migrants saved by MOAS are taken to Europe where they can seek asylum.

To keep up to date with the latest news, follow MOAS on Twitter @moas_eu and use the hashtag #MOAS to enter discussions about migration.

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