The humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders says it is launching a search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean next month amid faltering European Union efforts to cope with a migrant influx.

The group will station doctors on a ship between Malta and the coast of Libya as the number of migrants making the crossing from the conflict-hit North African country increases.

Doctors Without Borders' head of humanitarian affairs, Hernan del Valle, said Monday that "we are acutely aware that we are only one boat. It's a tragedy that Europe has turned its back on this problem."

More than 280,000 people entered the EU illegally last year. Thousands have boarded rickety boats from Libya, and Europe's coast guards have been overwhelmed.

The rescue operation will run until November.