Quarter of a Million Migrants Arrive by Sea in Europe so far in 2016  

World | July 26, 2016, Tuesday // 15:56|  views

The handout picture made available by the Italian Navy Press Office shows two boats carrying some of the 290 migrants rescued by the crew of an Italian Navy ship in the Strait of Sicily, Italy, 28 January 2016. Photo source: EPA/BGNES

The number of migrants and refugees who entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 24 July has reached almost quarter of a million, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Most migrants and refigees arrived in Greece (159,657 vs 126,514 between 1 January and 30 July last year). Arrivals in Italy were little changed – 88,351 in 2016 through 24 July vs 93,540 in 2015 through July 30.

The latest discovery of 39 bodies washed up on Libyan shores earlier this week brings the number of fatalities to over 3,034 among the migrants and refugees who have attempted to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe this year, the IOM said in a statement on Tuesday. The number is almost 50% higher higher compared to the first seven months of 2015, when there were 1,917 deaths at sea.

At the same time, the total number of arrivals by sea in Europe is about 13% higher compared to the same period in 2015.

One of the reasons behind the increase in migrant deaths is linked to the exceptional flow of arrivals and the loss of 1,000 lives over a few days in the last week of May 2016.

“In that period, the shipwrecks involved bigger vessels with hundreds of people on board, unlike the usual dinghies that can carry only approximately up to a hundred,” the IOM explained.



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Tags: IOM, migrants, greece, Italy, Mediterranean


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