Pope bought phone cards for migrants, says archbishop
So they could get in touch with family11 October, 11:40
Lampedusa is currently dealing with one of Italy's most deadly disasters involving a boat carrying Sicily-bound immigrants from northern Africa. The death toll from the shipwreck last Thursday has risen to 311 though only 155 migrants have been rescued from a boat believed to be carrying 500 migrants from Libya.
Mons. Montenegro thanked the pontiff "for the attention given to the tragedy of migrants who died at sea and Lampedusa residents" following his July 8 visit to the island, often the first point of European arrival from southern migrants who wash up on shore aboard rickety boats.
The archbishop also announced a day-care centre where migrant children on the island can play will be created on the grounds of the local San Gerlando parish church. The local migrant holding centre is currently massively overcrowded with many people forced to sleep outdoors.
The 850-person migrant centre has been reduced to a 250-person capacity since a 2011 fire destroyed part of the facility.