Norway said Tuesday that it will provide 50 million Norwegian kroner (6.4 million U.S. dollars) to alleviate deteriorating migration crisis in the Mediterranean Sea.
"We are facing an extraordinary situation in the Mediterranean region, where an increasing number of people are drowning in an attempt to get to Europe...Norway provides 50 million Norwegian kroner for measures for refugees and migrants in transit countries in Africa," Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende was quoted as saying in a press release.
The new funds will mainly go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help its efforts in African transit countries and Norway will also strengthen its strategic cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), according to the press release.
Nearly 800 migrants were suspected to have died at sea when a packed ship capsized in international waters south of Italy's Sicily on Saturday night. The UNHCR said Monday that only around 50 people had been rescued, citing information from the Maltese authorities.
It followed a similar incident earlier this month in which 400 lives were feared lost.
The UNHCR said more than 36,000 refugees and migrants have arrived by boat in southern Europe so far this year and if the latest toll is confirmed, over 1,600 have died. In 2014, around 219,000 people crossed the Mediterranean and 3,500 lives were lost.