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Mediterranean Migrant and Refugee Arrivals Top 83,000 in 2016

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Greece - Migrant and refugee arrivals in Europe in 2016 yesterday reached an estimated 83,201, with some 77,303 of those arriving in the Greek islands from Turkey, according to International Organization for Migration.

The number of arrivals in Greece by sea has fallen in February due to bad weather. An estimated 5,110 migrants arrived in the first ten days of February, compared to 72,193 in the whole of January.

Last weekend’s high winds and low temperatures, which saw ferry services to the islands diverted due to rough seas, resulted in a dramatic drop in the number of migrants risking their lives trying to reach Greece.

IOM Greece staff say that only 84 migrants and refugees arrived on the islands from Turkey on February 5th and just seven on February 6th.

According to Greek police, some 44 per cent of January arrivals were Syrian, 27 per cent Afghan, and 17 per cent Iraqi. All three nationalities have been allowed to leave Greece and enter the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on route to Western Europe. The remaining 12 per cent included large numbers of Pakistanis and Iranians. Some 44 per cent of the arrivals were men, 22 per cent women and 34 per cent children.

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