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UNHCR Europe Monthly Report (July 2018)

Situation Report
Originally published
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Trends and key figures

Between 1 January and 30 July, 72,200 refugees and migrants arrived via the three Mediterranean routes to Europe 2 compared to almost 121,000 arrivals who arrived in the same period in 2017. This marks a 67% reduction from the previous year’s arrival figures showing a continued declining trend of the overall arrivals numbers to Europe. A monthly comparison to previous years, shows a continued decrease with nearly 15,600 arrivals in July 2018 who reached Europe whereas in 2016 and 2017 there were 16,500 and 25,880 arrivals during July respectively. As of 30 July, most confirmed arrivals so far this year have been to Spain with some 27,500 arriving by land and sea compared to almost 26,100 in Greece and some 18,500 in Italy. Primary nationalities amongst arrivals in 2018 so far were Syrians, Guineans, and Iraqis.

GREECE: Some 26,100 refugees and migrants have arrived by land and sea in Greece with 62% arriving by sea so far in 2018. Sea arrivals (16,260) in this period have increased by 41% compared to the same period last year (11,530). In July 2018, over 2,540 have arrived in Greece by sea while the Turkish Coast Guard has intercepted or rescued 1,500 in the Aegean. The average daily number of sea arrivals in July was 82. At the Greek land border in Evros, a total of 9,840 people have crossed into Greece in 2018 so far, with some 1,500 crossing during July marking an increase compared to 1,070 whom arrived through Evros in June. The top five countries of origin of arrivals by land and sea were Syrians (38%), Iraqis (17%), Turkish nationals (17%), Afghans (12%) and from Congo, Democratic Republic of (3%).

ITALY: Over 18,500 refugees and migrants have arrived in Italy by sea in 2018 so far. This is a 81% decrease compared to the same period in 2017 (over 95,000). The overall reduction in arrival numbers to Italy this year is primarily due to lower numbers of refugees and migrants being able to cross from Libya, a situation that has also led to a sharp decline in the total number of refugees and migrants reaching other European countries. Just under 2,000 refugees and migrants have arrived by sea to Italy in July, an 83% decrease compared to those who arrived in July last year (11,460). Around 66% of arrivals so far this year have crossed from Libya, whereas 20% crossed from Tunisia and 9% from Turkey. In July, over 2,200 people were intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard which is now taking responsibility for the majority of interventions off the Libyan coast. The largest groups that arrived by sea in Italy in July were from Iraq (18%), Tunisia (16%), Eritrea (16%), and Pakistan (13%).

SPAIN: In July, nearly 9,600 refugees and migrants arrived to Spain via land and sea borders, the highest number in a single month so far this year, of which 89% (8,640) arrived by sea. A total of 27,600 refugees and migrants have reached Spain both by land and sea so far in 2018, representing an increase of 130% compared to the same period in 2017 (over 12,000). The increase in arrivals continues to challenge existing reception capacity in some disembarkation locations in Spain. The five most common nationalities of sea arrivals in Spain so far this year are Guineans (18%), Malians (15%), Moroccans (15%), Ivoirians (14%) and Gambians (7%).

BALKANS: As of 30 July, over 10,100 refugees and migrants were reported to have arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) including some 2,500 who arrived in July – making July the month with the highest number of arrivals. Of new arrivals so far this year, 33% have been from Pakistan, 15% from Syria and 12% from Iran. While many of the refugees and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina attempt to move onwards through Croatia and Slovenia, some 3,600 refugees and migrants were present in Serbia, a slight increase compared to the 3,350 recorded in June. UNHCR continues to offer its support to authorities and partners in order to address arising humanitarian needs. Dead and Missing: So far in 2018, 1,511 people have died or gone missing while trying to reach Europe by sea which is a 38% decrease compared to the number of deaths occurred in the same period in 2017. Most deaths occurred along the Central Mediterranean route (1,095 or 72%) with 317 (21%) of the deaths along the route to Spain. Along land routes, at least 67 refugees or migrants are known to have died so far this year at or near European borders.