The migrants, who have been largely from sub-Saharan Africa and included Guineans, have been on a ship that had left Dakhla, Western Sahara, a number of days in the past.
The vessel was heading for the Canary Islands when it started having engine hassle. The passengers have been left stranded at sea and commenced affected by excessive dehydration.
A lone survivor was delivered to the Mauritanian metropolis of Nouadhibou after being rescued by the coastguard on Thursday and is receiving medical and psychological help.
“Despite COVID 19 mobility restrictions, migrants are still compelled to undertake risky journeys”, mentioned Laura Lungarotti, IOM Mauritania Chief of Mission.
“While we continue to provide humanitarian assistance hand in hand with the Government of Mauritania and civil society, the need for predictable rescue and assistance procedures remains. This is all the more important whilst public health measures are still in place”.
Intensify efforts in opposition to smugglers
IOM and UNHCR urged governments to step up efforts to dismantle smuggling networks whereas additionally elevated secure and authorized pathways to asylum and migration.
“These deaths are preventable, and they are avoidable,” mentioned Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean.
“We must take action to target the smugglers and traffickers who offer false promises to migrants and refugees of safe passage to Europe.”
He added that, “at the same time, we need to offer effective protection and services to people in countries of asylum and transit to strengthen their socio-economic inclusion and integration with host communities, so they don’t feel the desperation that drives them to risk their lives on these desperate journeys.”