Oxfam Calls on Italy to Stop Financing Libyan Coast Guards

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The global NGO, Oxfam has asked the Italian government to stop funding Libya’s Coast Guard, stressing the need for a change of approach with the direct management of migration flows.

Oxfam said Italian funding for the coast guards is increasing despite the fact that people “are continuing to die along the central Mediterranean route, and the modalities of intervention of the so-called Libyan coast guards are at this point well known.”

The Italian Cabinet has decided to allocate an additional €500,000 in 2021 to support the coast guards’ activities, for a total of €32.6 million spent since 2017.

Oxfam Italia’s policy advisor for humanitarian emergencies, Paolo Pezzati, said that Italian the government of Mario Draghi is acting in perfect continuity on migration policies. Pezzati asked parties in the ruling majority to immediately end funding in 2021 for the coast guards.

According to Oxfam, “what is needed now is a firm change of approach, a direct management of flows, and not the mere closure of borders delegated to countries like Libya or Turkey.”