THE number of migrants arriving to the Canary Islands in the first half of this year has increased sixfold compared to the same period in 2019.

According to figures obtained by El Pais, around 2,698 migrants arrived last year, a figure that was already double compared to 2018.

The situation becomes even more difficult for the islands as the Spanish Interior Ministry has put a halt on migrants being moved to the mainland during the coronavirus crisis.

This has forced the archipelagos’ facilities to be stretched very thin.

“We are in a huge battle with the Inclusion, Social Security and Migration Ministry,” Angel Manuel Hernandez Gutierrez, an evangelical minister who runs the Modern Christian Mission NGO, told El Pais.

“All we are asking them for is food for so many people, because right now we are living from begging businessmen, friends, hotels and the local government,” he added.

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Maria Greco, from the Entre Mares association also spoke to El Pais and said: “We don’t think that the administration is properly managing the situation.”

This comes as the EU is planning to discuss its new migration plan over the coming weeks.

Northern countries want stricter entry points enforced by the Mediterranean countries, with any migrants who enter, staying within the first EU nation they set foot in.

Southern countries that receive tens of thousands of migrants per year, such as Spain, Greece and Italy on the other hand want their fellow EU members to accept a certain number of migrants themselves as part of a quota system.

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