This file photo taken on November 03, 2016 shows migrants and refugees on a rubber boat before to be rescued by the ship Topaz Responder run by Maltese NGO Moas and Italian Red Cross off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) had called on the European Union to take urgent action to deal with refugee deaths in the Mediterranean, Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Friday.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at the daily news briefing that the UNICEF, a UN program that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries, urged the EU to take "urgent action" after a record number of refugee and migrant deaths in the Mediterranean over the past three months, including an estimated 190 children.
More than 1,300 migrants and refugees had drowned since the beginning of November, the majority of those deaths happening along the dangerous Central Mediterranean sea route between Libya and Italy, said Dujarric.
At an EU summit held Friday in Malta, UNICEF stressed the pressing need for governments on both sides of the Mediterranean to do more to keep children safe, saying that the decisions taken at the summit could literally mean the difference between life and death for thousands of children.