Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016 Near 155,000; Deaths Reach 467

Posted: 
03/18/16
Themes: 
Humanitarian Emergencies, Missing Migrants


Greece - With winter ending and warmer conditions prevailing, the Central Mediterranean migrant route between North Africa and Sicily has become busier, monitors from IOM in Rome report, indicating a surge of migrant and refugee arrivals under way in the months to come.

Including sea routes to Spain and the Greek Islands, IOM estimates that some 156,000 migrants and refugees have landed in Europe from Africa and the Middle East in the first ten and a half weeks of 2016. That compares to fewer than 20,000 migrant and refugees during the same period last year.

Since the start of 2014, IOM calculates almost 1.4 million migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean and entered Europe via one of five EU coastal borders: Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Malta. Through March 16 of this year, IOM counts over 997,000 seaborne arrivals just to Greece, still short of the one million mark. However, combined land and sea arrivals to Greece have moved slightly ahead of the one million mark, as reported earlier this week by the Associated Press.

Arrivals by sea and deaths in the Mediterranean 2015/2016

1 Jan – 17 Mar 2016

1 Jan – 31 March 2015

Country

Arrivals

Deaths

Arrivals

Deaths

Greece

143,886

362 (Eastern Med route)

10,535

505 (includes all Med routes)

Italy

11,000

105 (Central and West Med route)

10,165

Estimated total

154,886

467

20,700

505

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About 2,400 migrants were rescued at sea in the Channel of Sicily between 15 and 17 March. Ships of the Italian Navy, the British Navy and the German Navy, and by the Norwegian Siem Pilot and the “Aquarius ship” from the Sos Méditerranée association have carried out the rescue operations. Rescued migrants were mainly Western African and Eritrean.

“Arrivals to Italy have never really slowed down; this year we are actually noticing a slight increase in the number of migrants arriving from Libya. As of today, almost 12,000 migrants have landed in Italy, about 2,000 more compared to the number of migrants that arrived in the same period last year,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean.

“For the moment flows are only composed of African nationals while the number of Syrians has dropped: in the first 2 months of the year, only 6 Syrians arrived by sea to Italy.”

“The nature and composition of the migration flows to Italy are mixed,” said Soda. “They include smuggled and trafficked persons, unaccompanied and separated children, environmental migrants, pregnant women and refugees.”

“Italy’s efforts and those of the international vessels in rescuing over 2,400 migrants at sea in only 48 hours are outstanding: IOM praises the work carried out by the many different ships that are constantly patrolling the Channel of Sicily.”

According to IOM estimates, almost 470 migrants lost their lives at sea this year: 362 in the Aegean Sea, 100 in the Channel of Sicily, and five more in the waters between Spain and Africa.

Last year, through the end of March, more than 500 migrants drowned, mainly in the Channel of Sicily between Italy and Libya.

 

Country

Total 2014

Total 2015

1 Jan – 17 Mar 2016

Greece

34,442

853,650

143,886

Italy

170,100

153,842

11,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic please go to: http://missingmigrants.iom.int/sites/default/files/Mediterranean_Update_18_March_2016.pdf

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean,please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe 

Learn more about Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For further information, please contact Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int 
Or Daniel Esdras at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 9912174 Email: iomathens@iom.int
Or Kelly Namia, Tel: +302109919040, +302109912174, Email: knamia@iom.int.
Or Emrah Guler at IOM Turkey, Tel: +903124541138, Email: eguler@iom.int.
Or Othman Belbeisi at IOM Libya, Tel + 216 29 600 389, Email: Obelbeisi@iom.int
Or Maysa Khalil at IOM Tunisia, Tel.  +216 29 600 388 – Email: mkhalil @iom.int
Or Ryan Schroeder at IOM RO Europe, Tel:  +32 2 287 71 16, Email: rschroeder@iom.int

Italian Navy rescuing stranded migrants earlier this week. © Italian Navy