The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said in a statement that “the tragedy of Tartus boat sinking could have been avoided before it happened.”
Pedersen added that “we must urgently do more to address the root causes of these movements, including the conflict in Syria and the economic crisis in Lebanon, and to protect the most vulnerable so that they are not obliged to make such hard choices.”
He also added that “it is devastating that dozens of people died, including men, women, children, and elderly because a boat sank off the Syrian coast.”
Pedersen expressed his sadness and solidarity with the families of the boat’s victims that sank off the Syrian coast, killing more than 90 people out of 180 who were trying to seek refuge in Europe.
Attempts to migrate irregularly from Lebanon to European countries are increasing in light of an unprecedented deterioration of living standards and a high poverty rates, following the stifling economic crisis that the country has been witnessing since 2019.