Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 191,134; Deaths 1,370

Italy - IOM reports an estimated 191,134 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 21 May, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain.

Deaths through 21 May this year stand at 1,370 on all Mediterranean routes, which is 24 percent lower than last year’s total of 1,792 through the same period.

It is notable that a total of just 13 fatalities have been reported this month in just three incidents, none occurring on the eastern Mediterranean route between Turkey and Greece, where through the first four months of 2016, nearly 400 migrants and refugees drowned.

The deaths in May 2016 include at least 10 people believed to have drowned off Sardinia on Saturday, part of a voyage IOM believes left from Algeria. Additionally two bodies were recovered this month off Egypt and one body was found off Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta.

By contrast, nearly 330 migrants and refugees drowned in the Mediterranean during May 2014, and another 95 died in May last year.

Through the first five months of 2015, IOM reported 1,828 migrants or refugees missing or drowned at sea. This year’s total through May 22 indicates that migrant fatalities may at last be declining, in part due to stepped up vigilance on both the North African and Turkish coasts.

IOM Rome reports that 2,725 migrants attempting to reach Italy from Libya were rescued at sea over the past 24 hours. Another 850 migrants were turned back after being intercepted by the Libyan authorities. Several hundred rescued migrants and refugees are due to arrive in Italian ports today.

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For further information please contact IOM Greece. Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: or Kelly Namia, Tel: +302109919040, +302109912174, Email:  or Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +903124551202, Email: or Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: or IOM Geneva, Joel Millman, Tel: +41.22.717.9486 – Mobile: +, Email: or Itayi Viriri, Tel: + 41 79 285 43 66, Email: