Egypt arrests 2 human smugglers in Alexandria

Egyptian border guards and prosecutors arrested two migrant traffickers in Alexandria on Friday (May 5th) who admitted to organising illegal migration trips to Europe, Egyptian media reported.

Authorities seized three fishing boats they had used to carry migrants to Italy and Greece on dangerous trips that cost up to 40,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,207) per person, the Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.

Investigations into the case are ongoing.

In November, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ratified a law aimed at curbing irregular migration and cracking down on human smuggling along the country's Mediterranean coast.

The legislation imposes jail terms on those convicted of human smuggling or acting as brokers or facilitators.

Meanwhile, in a report issued Friday, the World Food Programme (WFP) said that a global crisis in food supplies is causing even more migrants to cross borders, AFP reported.

"Each one percentage increase in food insecurity in a population compels 1.9% more people to migrate," the WFP report said, with 0.4% more people fleeing a country for each additional year of conflict.

"By understanding the dynamics that compel people to move, we can better address what lies at the heart of forced migration and what must be done to end their suffering," said WFP executive director David Beasley.

The WFP study also found that armed conflict was what triggered migrants to cross borders, and to a lesser extent natural catastrophes and economic factors.

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