Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 117,795 and 2,408 Deaths in 2017
Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 117,795 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 9 August, with almost 83 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 264,381 arrivals across the region through 9 August 2016.
IOM Rome reported Thursday that according to official figures of the Italian MOI, 96,861 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year, which is a 3.46 per cent drop from the same period in 2016.
IOM Libya reported Thursday that on 9 August 143 migrants (including 18 women and two children), a majority from Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Guinea Conakry, were rescued at sea off Azzawyah by the Libyan Coast Guard. IOM press officer Christine Petré added her office is still waiting for data from reports surfacing regarding a rescue operation Thursday. So far in 2017, she added, 12,838 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.
IOM Athens reported Thursday that 478 migrants and refugees arrived at various Greek locations (Samos, Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes, Megisti) during the three days (7-9 August). According to the Hellenic Coast Guard, during the reporting period there were two incidents off the islands of Chios and Rhodes that required search and rescue operations; the Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue the 80 migrants to the respective islands.
The total number of arrivals by sea to Greece as of 9 August, is 12,191. This compares with 161,232 at this time last year.
IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported the total number of new sea arrivals to Spain has risen to 8,385; adding that as to arrivals by land, there were these recent crossings through the border point in El Tarajal, Ceuta: 74 people on 31 July and 187 people on 7 August.
Deaths off Spain through 9 August are at 121 men, women and children, compared with 97 during the same period last year. For all of 2016, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported 128 deaths in Spanish waters of migrants seeking to enter Europe by sea. There was one death off the coast of Ceuta this week.
This latest fatality in the region brings the total for the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,408. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (3,194) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,400.
Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,501 fatalities in 2017 through 9 August, which is nearly 100 deaths since IOM’s report of 2 August (see chart below). The Mediterranean region continues to account for well over half of all fatalities worldwide; however, IOM reported a surge in deaths this week in the Horn of Africa region where over the last two days MMP has reported 70 fatalities in the Gulf of Aden in two incidents.
Additionally, there were seven deaths this past week at the Syrian/Turkish border.
The latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
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