News - Afghanistan
The medical aid organization, Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym MSF, announced on Friday that it will no longer seek European Union funding, in protest at the EU's much-maligned migrant deal with Turkey.
EU money totaled around 46 million euros (52 million US dollars) in 2015, about eight percent of the organization's total budget.
Haydn Williams, MSF Project Coordinator on board the ship "Aquarius", said the decision won't affect MSF's work in the Mediterranean Sea.
"Just because we've chosen not to take funding from the EU anymore isn't actually going to affect the work that we do either on the boat here, or on the other two boats that MSF is supporting on the sea, or in any of our other projects around the world. 92 percent of the funding that we have from MSF is all taken by private donors, which gives us the independence, that we've always... or the financial independence that we've always looked for," he added.
Secretary General Jerome Oberreit said the MSF still plans to keep working in Greece and near the Turkey-Syria border but will seek money from other sources to keep its projects going.
"The EU deal is the latest in a long line of policies that go against the values and the principles that enable assistance to be provided," he said.
The unusual and radical step has been the subject of deep debate within the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization.
The vessel is in the so-called "Search and Rescue" (SAR) zone near the Libyan coast, where most of the migrant boats are spotted and rescued.