Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 242,179; Deaths: 2,977

Italy - IOM reports an estimated 242,179 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 20 July, arriving mostly in Italy and Greece. 

So far this year an estimated 2,977 deaths have been recorded, compared with 1,906 through 30 July last year. These figures do not include thousands of migrants and refugees rescued on the Mediterranean during the past 48 hours, nor the recovery of nearly two dozen additional corpses believed to be en route to Italian ports Friday morning (22 July).

“Yesterday (21 July) there was a landing of 842 people,” IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo said Friday morning. “There was one corpse. On Saturday (23 July) a ship should arrive in Calabria with an additional 18 bodies on board. We still do not know what happened or how they died.”

Those deaths would bring to 2,996 the total IOM is estimating for this year’s casualties to date among migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean.

This suggests that for the third straight year IOM will have to report migration fatalities of at least 3,000 men, women and children on these dangerous sea routes.

This year the 3,000 mark will undoubtedly arrive months sooner than in either of the previous two years. According to research by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, fatalities reached the 3,000 mark on 21 September in 2014 and on 15 October in 2015.

With over five months remaining on the 2016 calendar, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project notes that nearly 2,500 of this year’s fatalities occurred just in the past four months. “That’s an average of 20 deaths in the Mediterranean every day,” said Julia Black, an analyst with IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre based in Berlin.

According to Di Giacomo, some 4,200 migrants were rescued in the Channel of Sicily this past Tuesday and Wednesday. He added that according to official figures from Italy’s Ministry of the Interior, arrivals as of 21 July are at 84,052, a number nearly identical to the total last year at this time, when Italian authorities noted arrivals to date of 84,026.

The similarity of the totals on this, the Mediterranean’s central route, are an indication that migration flows through Africa and into Libya remain unchanged after two years, despite progress in monitoring and policing migration traffic in Libya itself.

IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi noted this week that the Libyan Coast Guard is now providing regular data on migrants attempting to sail to Europe and has had some success in turning back boats. IOM Libya also has also been able to voluntarily repatriate large numbers of stranded migrants from Libyan detention centres to their countries of origin, mostly in West Africa.


Total arrivals by sea and deaths in the Mediterranean 2015-2016

1 Jan – 20 July 2016

1 Jan – 30 July 2015

 Country of Arrival







2,549 (Central Med route)


1,917 (all Med routes)



(Eastern Med route)







(Western Med and Western African routes)


Estimated Total





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For further information please contact:
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
IOM Greece: Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: or Kelly Namia, Tel: +30 210 9919040, +30 210 9912174, Email:
Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +903124551202, Email:
Amr Taha at IOM Egypt. Tel: +202-27365140, Email:
Itayi Viriri at IOM Geneva, Tel: +, Email:
IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel +216 29 600389, Email: or Ashraf Hassan, Tel: +216297 94707, Email: