Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 10,114 in 2018; Deaths Reach 414

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 10,114 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first eight weeks of 2018, with just over 50 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided almost evenly between Greece and Spain. This compares with 16,806 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

At this time in February 2016 there already were 116,005 arrivals – roughly 100,000 more than at this point this year and last.

On Monday IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported that over six days (15-20 February) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported there were at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Samos. The Coast Guard rescued 152 migrants and transferred them to that island.

Those rescued, plus another 96 arriving on Lesvos brings the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory through 24 February to 2,536 (see chart below) – an average of 46 persons per day.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 2,306 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 26 February (see charts below).

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said Monday that, according to Ministry of Interior figures, 5,247 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year: or 61 per cent fewer than last year during the same period.  With days remaining in the month, arrivals in Italy are well below those for the previous two Februaries of 2017 and 2016 (see chart below).

On Monday, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported 414 deaths have been registered in the Mediterranean so far this year, fewer than the 483 reported at this time in 2017.
Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 651 migrant fatalities in 2018, compared with 936 at this time last year (see chart below).


Over a three-day period (14-16 February), three migrants lost their lives on the Mexico-Texas border: on 14 February, the remains of one migrant were found in a ranch in Brooks County, Texas. The following day, more remains were discovered of a young man from El Salvador, which were recovered from another ranch, also in Brooks County. On 16 February, US Border Patrol agents recovered the body of a Honduran man near Sarita, which is in Kenedy County, Texas.
The following Friday (23 February), a 40-year-old Mexican man was found dead in La Rumorosa mountains near Tecate, Baja California. Authorities believe he had fallen into a canyon while trekking to the US border and may have been part of another migrant group, five of whom were saved from hypothermia while traveling through the zone earlier in the month.
Further south, a 31-year-old man from Guatemala died that same Friday, apparently in a cross-fire between traffickers and law enforcement officials on Mexico’s Federal Highway 185, near Jáltipan, state of Veracruz.
The MMP team also recorded the death of a migrant in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya: the body of a man was found in the undercarriage of an aircraft coming from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo on 11 February.
MMP data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic here
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: