MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Some nongovernmental organizations working in the Mediterranean have turned migrant rescue operations at sea into a profitable business and are thus encouraging more migration, Sergio Divina, Italy's Lega Nord party member and a Senate lawmaker, told Sputnik on Friday.
"There are different type of NGOs, established ones such as Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders, and there are also recently founded, and no one really knows how they are funded. They have a lot of money, they have nice, modern, fully equipped boats. They should be operated on the voluntary basis but, in fact, their activity is strictly professional and really profitable. They are not only encouraging new migrants to cross the Mediterranean but also turned these rescue operations into business," Divina said.
In the first half of 2017, about 85,000 migrants arrived on Italy’s shores, versus 71,000 for the same period last year, according to the International Organization for Migration.