Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016 Pass 76,000; Deaths Top 400

Greece - IOM estimates that over 76,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe by sea through the first six weeks of 2016. The daily average of nearly 2,000 arrivals is nearly ten times the daily average of a year ago.

Through 8 February, IOM has recorded 409 fatalities on Mediterranean routes:  319 of the dead or missing were on the Eastern Mediterranean route connecting Turkey to Greece and 90 on the Central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy.

During the same period in 2015, only 69 migrants and refugees died or went missing in the whole Mediterranean. All but nine were believed to have perished on the Central Mediterranean route. The nine who died in the Aegean were lost in one incident reported on 7 February 2015.

Mediterranean Developments

Arrivals by sea and deaths in the Mediterranean

1 Jan – 7 Feb 2016

1 Jan – 28 Feb 2015








319 (Eastern Med route)


428 (includes all Med routes)



90 (Central Med route)


Estimated Total






IOM reports that since 1 January 2016 a total of 70,365 migrants and refugees have arrived in Greece from Turkey by sea. This brings the total number of arrivals to the Greek islands since 1 January 2015 to 924,015. IOM expects Greece to receive its one millionth migrant since the beginning of 2015 by sometime next month.

Between 1 January and 8 February 2016 IOM staff in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), together with border police and an NGO – Young Lawyers Association – registered the arrival of 68,025 migrants and refugees. Since 18 June 2015, the start of the crisis, a total of 429,460 migrants and refugees have been registered by the FYROM authorities. 

This brings the total number of migrants and asylum seekers who have entered the country since 19 June 2015 to 456,258. This includes 236,575 (51.85 per cent) men; 80,579 (17.66 per cent) women; 120,584 (26.48 per cent) children and 18,250 (3.99 per cent) unaccompanied children.

A taxi strike has been ongoing in Gevgelija on the FYROM’s southern border with Greece since 30 January 2016. Taxi drivers are blocking the railway lines and demanding that the government allow them to transport 500 migrants per day from Gevgelija to the Serbian border. Trains and taxies both charge EUR 25 per person. As a result, transport from the border has been intermittent and subject to negotiations between the taxi drivers and the authorities.

IOM Skopje is helping the government to upgrade and winterize its reception facilities. IOM, with funding from the Japanese Government and the Council of Europe Development Bank, has so far donated 21 containers, 344 bunk beds, 2,000 blankets, 2,000 pillows and sheets, and a fully-equipped kitchen tent.

IOM Skopje is also assisting the Ministry of Health in providing emergency medical assistance to migrants in transit.  It has donated an ambulance funded by the Council of Europe Development Bank.

Since 23 January 2016, with funding from the Japanese Government, IOM also has organized six trainings on humanitarian border management, international protection standards, interviewing skills, registration and profiling techniques and procedures for total of 190 border guards from the FYROM.

On 21st December 2015, IOM Skopje rolled out IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, which is designed to inform the humanitarian response through a unified, systematic and sustainable data collection system that provides reliable data on locations, vulnerabilities, movements and needs of vulnerable migrants. Since the start of its DTM activities IOM Skopje has piloted 1,186 surveys. 

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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 Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Or Ivona Zakoska at IOM Skopje, Tel: +389 2 30 88 100, Ext. 133 Email: 
Or IOM Geneva, Leonard Doyle, Tel: +41-792857123, Email: ldoyle@iom.intor Joel Millman, Tel: + 41 79 103 87 20, Email: