The shipwreck of migrants off the Italian coast is an unacceptable massacre. We call for regular entry channels, humanitarian corridors, aid and development plans for the countries of origin

The Community of Sant'Egidio expresses its deep condolences to the families of the victims and of the many migrants missing in sailboat wreck a few metres off the coast of Calabria. We cannot stop at mere outrage when faced with the death of entire families, children and fragile people fleeing from countries like Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. We need to continue and encourage rescue operations of those in danger in the Mediterranean and to welcome them, as Pope Francis invited us to do today at the Angelus It is necessary, at the same time, to urgently - and extensively - activate European resettlement programmes from the southern Mediterranean countries; to increase the quotas of the flow decrees, to implement new regular entry channels. It is the only solution to manage a phenomenon of such vast proportions. Models that work because they favour integration, such as the humanitarian corridors, that our Community has promoted together with different organisations since 2016. In addition, it is necessary to facilitate entry for work purposes, which our country so badly needs. Above all, however, we ask Europe to shake off its torpor, rethink and change its policy of closing borders that does not sustain regular immigration. It must increase cooperation and immediately activate a 'special plan' of aid and development for the migrants' countries of origin, on the other side of the Mediterranean and in sub-Saharan Africa. If we do not address this issue, which could provide, at least in the medium term, a concrete response, with the creation of jobs and a livable future in the countries of origin, together with new immigration policies, new tragedies at sea or in the African desert will unfortunately be inevitable. The words of Pope Francis: "This morning I learned with sorrow of the shipwreck off the Calabrian coast, near Crotone. Forty dead have already been recovered, including many children. I pray for each one of them, for the missing and for the other surviving migrants. I thank those who have brought relief and those who are providing shelter. May Our Lady sustain these brothers and sisters of ours."