Italy will host a conference in Rome this week aimed at protecting the European Union’s external borders while strengthening efforts to work with African nations along migrant transit routes to Libya.

The Foreign Ministry says participants at Thursday’s meeting will include officials from the EU and U.N. refugee and migrant offices.

Italy is struggling with costs and logistics to care for hundreds of thousands of migrants rescued in the Mediterranean and brought to its shores over the last few years.

The government has pressed for more assistance and attention to African nations along human traffickers’ routes that migrants travel, headed to smugglers boats launched from Libyan shores toward Europe.

Source: Associated Press