International Office of Migration reports an estimated 207,260 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 8 June, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain.
Deaths so far this year are 2,856, compared with 1,838 through the first six months of 2015. In other words, fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2016 are over 1,000 more than last year’s mid-year total, although we now are some three weeks shy of 2016’s mid-year point.
IOM’s total estimate of fatalities has risen since earlier this week due to new data from Spain indicating that at least 40 migrants have perished in Western Mediterranean waters since the start of this year. The worst incident IOM has learned of occurred in early March, when 20 migrants who left North Africa are believed to have drowned when their craft foundered. IOM has also learned of incidents in April and May, in which fatalities of six and five migrants, respectively, were reported.
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM’s spokesperson in Rome, reported Thursday that 1,147 migrants were en route to Italian ports following rescues at sea. Kelly Namia from IOM Athens reports that arrivals in Greece’s Aegean islands remained low this month, with five of June’s first eight days registering arrivals of fewer than 20 migrants. Only one day, 2 June, recorded over 100 arrivals.
See chart (below) for monthly arrival totals in Greece.
Syrians continued to comprise the largest group arriving in Greece in May, with 525 Syrians registered by Greek authorities last month – compared with nearly 30,000 in January. Afghans (270 arrivals) were the second largest group. In January, over 18,000 Afghans arrived.
SOURCE: International Office of Migration