Between 1 January and 30 April 2019, 779 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy by sea, compared to 9,467 in the same period last year. In April 2019, 255 individuals reached Italian shores. This is comparable to monthly sea arrivals in March this year, when 262 persons were registered at landing points in southern Italy.
Nationality of arrivals
In the first four months of 2019, 32 per cent of sea arrivals originated from Tunisia, followed by Algeria (12 per cent), Iraq (10 per cent), Bangladesh (7 per cent), Pakistan (7 per cent), Guinea (5 per cent), Senegal (4 per cent), Somalia (3 per cent), Côte d'Ivoire (3 per cent), and Islamic Republic of Iran (3 per cent). In the same period last year, the most common nationalities of sea arrivals were Tunisia, Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire, Pakistan, Mali, Libya, Guinea, and Algeria. Despite representing the most common nationality of sea arrivals, the numbers of Tunisian nationals arriving on Italian shores dropped from 1,910 in the time period January-April 2018 to 253 in same period of 2019. Notably, 46 per cent of Tunisian sea arrivals in 2019 so far (116 persons out of 253) reached shore in the month of April. Furthermore, Eritrean sea arrivals decreased significantly from 1,810 in January-April 2018 to just 11 in January-April 2019. It is to be noted that, in April 2019, 69 Eritrean nationals were evacuated from Libya to Italy thanks to a joint operation between UNHCR, and Italian and Libyan authorities. Moreover, despite featuring among the most common nationalities of sea arrivals in 2019 so far, Iraqis arriving on Italian shores also dropped in numbers, from 204 to 80 if compared the first four months of 2018 with the same period in 2019.