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Preventing deaths in the Mediterranean

Order of Malta teams train Libyan Navy and Coast Guard instructors

Rome, 23 February 2017

 Order of Malta medicos train Libyan coast guard on the 'San Giorgio'

Order of Malta medicos train Libyan coastguards on board the ‘San Giorgio’

A training programme to prevent migrant deaths in the Mediterranean sea has just been launched with the international participation of the Order of Malta, Frontex (the European Border and Coast Guard Agency), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration.

The aim : to train naval personnel in Libya, which is the departure point of the boats overloaded with migrants, and so to prevent these tragic deaths and counter the criminal networks controlling human smuggling and trafficking.

 In the first stage training, the Order of Malta participated in instructing 89 Libyans in ‘search and sea rescue’ on the Italian ‘San Giorgio’, as part of the European naval force operation EUNAVFOR MED Sophia.

The doctors of the Order of Malta’s Italian Relief Corps have assisted some 50,000 migrants arriving by sea on the Italian coast since 2008. 

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.