Sun 21 July 2019:
More than 680 migrants, refugees die at sea in 2019, says International Organization for Migration
A total of 34,226 irregular migrants and refugees reached Europe by sea since the beginning of 2019, the UN migration agency said Friday. Of that figure, 683 died at sea, according to a report published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). During the same period last year, nearly 51,782 refugees and migrants were able to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea, 1,449 of which drowned at sea.
This year, 16,292 irregular migrants and refugees arrived in Greece — nearly half of total arrivals. On the Eastern Mediterranean route, the number of deaths reportedly reached 53 in 2019 — a slight increase compared to 46 deaths in the same period last year. On the western route, Spain received 12,064 irregular migrants and refugees. The number of deaths reported on the Western Mediterranean route remained high at 204, compared to 296 in 2018.
“Greece and Spain combine to account for 83 percent of the region’s irregular sea landings,” the IOM said in a statement on the report. According to IOM Italy spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo, 3,186 migrants entered Italy so far in 2019. Some 17,838 migrants entered Italy during the same period in 2018. Malta received 1,143 refugees and migrants this year, spiking from the same period last year which saw 243 arrivals. Deaths in the Central Mediterranean route decreased to 426 in 2019, compared to 1,107 in the same period last year.
A total of 30,510 migrants died between 2014 and 2018 while making the treacherous journey to Europe, IOM figures indicated in January.
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