Turkish coast guard rescues 40 migrants stuck on island

The statement did not specify the nationalities of the migrants. (File/AFP)
Updated 20 November 2018
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Turkish coast guard rescues 40 migrants stuck on island

  • Videos showed coast guard officers aiding women and children to board its ship
  • Migrants still try to cross into Greece from nearby Turkey in the hopes of making their way to other European countries

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s coast guard says it rescued 40 migrants stuck on an island after they attempted the crossing to Greece.
In a statement Monday, the coast guard said it dispatched two helicopters and one boat following a rescue request call by a migrant. Aerial footage showed groups of people on an island off the coast of the western province of Balikesir.
Videos showed coast guard officers aiding women and children to board its ship. The statement did not specify the nationalities of the migrants.
Although their numbers have decreased in recent years, migrants still try to cross into Greece from nearby Turkey in the hopes of making their way to other European countries. The Turkish coast guard intercepted more than 23,500 people this year.


UN, Palestinians launch humanitarian appeal after funding cuts

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago
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UN, Palestinians launch humanitarian appeal after funding cuts

JERUSALEM: The United Nations and the Palestinian Authority on Monday appealed for $350 million in humanitarian relief for Palestinians next year, saying that they needed more but had to be realistic in the face of “record-low” funding.
The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan outlined 203 projects to be carried out by 88 different groups, including UN agencies and non-governmental organizations.
The plan prioritized 1.4 million Palestinians most in need of food, health care, shelter, water and sanitation, said Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“Humanitarian actors are facing unprecedented challenges, including record-low funding and a rise in attacks to delegitimize humanitarian action,” he said in a joint statement issued on Monday, ahead of the appeal’s launch in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Although “much more assistance is needed,” McGoldrick said, the plan was “reflecting what we can realistically accomplish in this highly constrained context.”
Over the past year, the United States has slashed its funding to the Palestinians, including to the UN agency that provides services to 5 million Palestinian refugees.
The United States promised $365 million to the agency in 2018, but paid only a first instalment of $60 million before announcing in August that it would halt all future donations.
The move was widely seen as a means of pressuring the Palestinian leadership to enter peace negotiations with Israel.
The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem — territories that Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
US-brokered peace talks between the sides collapsed in 2014 and a bid by US President Donald Trump to restart them has so far showed little progress.
Around 77 percent of the funds sought in the 2019 plan would go to Gaza, the appeal organizers said, because the densely populated coastal strip faced a “dire humanitarian situation” after years of an Israeli-led blockade, internal Palestinian political divisions and casualties from demonstrations and recurring hostilities.
“The humanitarian context in the oPt (Occupied Palestinian Territories) is still deteriorating due to the Israeli occupation violations in a time of lack of resources and declining funds because of the politicization of the humanitarian aid,” Palestinian Social Development Minister Ibrahim Al-Shaer said in the statement.