At least 41 refugees and migrants have drowned with more than 70 others rescued by a commercial vessel that took them to Sicilian port town Porto Empedocle.
Fishermen in the Tunisian town of Zarzis have been frontline actors in saving migrant lives at sea even though their humanitarian assistance is increasingly being compromised by hostile European migration policies.
The MSF vessel was stranded in Marseille, in the south of France, since October after Panama revoked the right to fly its flag following a request from Italy's far-right, anti-establishment government.
The worst of the refugee crises might be over, but migrants seeking a better life are finding new ways to Europe.
Even as the number of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean to Europe has fallen sharply, the likelihood of dying during the dangerous voyage has risen significantly, the UN says.
Spain is allegedly at the front line of a massive wave of migrant arrivals from Africa. But is this really a crisis, or are Spain and Europe just victims of their own failed policies and a wave of xenophobia?
The UN migration agency says Libya is holding close to 15,000 people in dozens of detention centres across the country.
The European Union has pledged $40 million in aid for Rome as well as proposals for working with Libya and other countries to stem the flow of migrants.
The plan does not envisage formation of a European army, though it foresees a planning centre for civilian and military missions being set up.
Some 113 refugees are estimated to have drowned in four shipwrecks between Libya and Italy.
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