Italy

    The UN refugee agency expressed concern Jan. 23 over the overcrowded conditions faced by nearly 2,000 boat people, including asylum seekers, currently crammed into one reception center on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa. "The center has a capacity for only 850 people and hence cannot accommodate such high numbers," Ron Redmond, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said in Geneva. "The result is that hundreds of people are now sleeping outdoors under plastic sheeting, and adequate reception standards cannot be maintained," he added. (UN News Service)

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