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Agbar Foundation / News / The Agbar Foundation requests collaboration to acquire a rescue boat to help refugees for the NGO Proactiva Open Arms

13 June 2016

The Agbar Foundation requests collaboration to acquire a rescue boat to help refugees for the NGO Proactiva Open Arms

The Agbar Foundation and Òscar Camps, Director of the Badalona NGO Proactiva Open Arms, the only rescue NGO working in the sea on the Mediterranean coast to help refugees, today presented the humanitarian collaboration project through which it is proposed to raise the €29,000 that a rescue boat costs.

Therefore, the Agbar Foundation will make an initial contribution of €20,000, and encourages everyone to make donations in order to obtain the remaining €9,000. This boat will be used to complement the tasks of the sailing boat with which the volunteers of Proactiva Open Arms will set sail this week from the coast of Libya. Donations can be made on this website: www.fundacioagbar.cat/proactivaopenarms-cat.

Òscar Camps, Director of Proactiva Open Arms and Catalan of the Year 2015, warned during the presentation that after the implementation of the European Union agreement with Turkey, new even more dangerous sea routes have opened up for the refugees to reach Europe from the coasts of North Africa, from countries such as Libya, Egypt, etc. “To help them, we will sail to Libya this Friday with a vessel made available to expand the already existing humanitarian operation”, he indicated. The rescue boat that the Agbar Foundation aims to acquire will be used to complement the tasks of this sailing boat helping refugees.

Òscar Camps described the current situation of the refugees as “dramatic”, and criticized the inaction of Europe in the face of mafias and the “deliberate” European Union (EU) policy to oblige refugees to travel to Europe by sea, “a much more dangerous route than by land”.

Òscar Camps explained the harsh conditions in which the refugees reach Greece. “What we have experienced in Greece is unimaginable. When we arrived [in Lesbos], we realized that there was no organization to support the refugees who were arriving on the Greek island. We succeeded in rescuing over 8,000 people who were adrift, initially making use of the boats abandoned by the refugees because we were not authorized to take our material. The situation did not change until there was a massive shipwreck”. Apart from their presence, Camps stressed that they have managed to persuade the coast guard and the border agents to make means available to help the refugees. “As a society, we need to act and to defend human rights”, he concluded.

Ignacio Escudero, Director General of Aigües de Barcelona, also intervened in the event. He presented the speaker, highlighting his courage on setting up in Lesbos in September last year with a group of volunteers to save the maximum number of lives possible. “His personal initiative has promoted a movement which is jolting the consciences of many people and saving many lives”, stressed Escudero.

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