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Italy Launches $1,6Mln Project to Discourage Refugees From Coming to Europe

© Flickr / Niklas-BItalian rescuers boarded a merchant ship, with as many as 450 migrants, lost in rough waters off the coast southeast of Italy, the BBC reports.
Italian rescuers boarded a merchant ship, with as many as 450 migrants, lost in rough waters off the coast southeast of Italy, the BBC reports. - Sputnik International
According to Italy’s Interior Minister, government launched a project on Thursday worth 1.5 million euros (almost $1.6 million) which seeks to increase the migrants' awareness of danger and violence during their trip to Europe.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) The Italian government launched a project on Thursday worth 1.5 million euros (almost $1.6 million) which seeks to increase the migrants' awareness of danger and violence during their trip to Europe in a bid to discourage refugees from sub-Saharan Africa from coming to the European states.

"Europe’s migrant crisis is an epochal struggle. This communication campaign is just one of the ways in which we are seeking to tackle the crisis," Italy’s Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano was quoted as saying by the Local.

Under the project, called ‘Migrant Aware,’ a series of videos and recordings will be posted online to warn refugees coming from sub-Saharan Africa of the dangers of violence and exploitation they face when crossing the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea trying to enter wealthy European countries.

"’Migrant Aware’ is a message in a bottle we have thrown into cyberspace," Alfano added.

The project is aimed at 16-35 age group, who are most likely to travel to Europe and use social networks like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram to deliver this message. The project has been reportedly developed by the Italian Interior Ministry and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

According the country's Interior Ministry, over 70,000 of refugees arrived in Italy in between January and June of 2016, and some 150,000 in 2015. However, Alfano said approximately 60 percent of 2015 arrivals were not legitimate cases, but those seeking a more prosperous life.

The European Union is currently struggling to manage an enormous refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The majority of them try to reach stable EU states by sea. More than 3,770 deaths of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea were recorded in 2015, according to the IOM.

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