Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 20,927 in 2018; Deaths Reach 587

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 20,927 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 115 days of 2018, with about 43 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (37%) and Spain (19%). This compares with 44,152 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and around 200,000 at this time in 2016.

In other words: Mediterranean arrivals at this point in 2018 are running at under half last year’s level on this date, and about 10 per cent of 2016’s volume at this point in the year.  IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported that 230 migrants rescued Thursday are being brought to Italy.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on Tuesday (24 April), IOM assisted 197 migrants to return home to Niger, Chad, Senegal and Pakistan – on one chartered aircraft and the rest on three commercial flights. IOM Libya has assisted 12,366 since the scale-up phase started 28 November 2017 and a total of 25,555 migrants have returned home from Libya with IOM’s assistance since 1 January 2017. 


IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported that 587 migrants are estimated to have died this year in the Mediterranean, including, most recently, 17 people who lost their lives when trying to cross to Spain.
On 24 April, the Spanish maritime safety agency recovered five bodies and rescued 17 people from waters near Alboran Island, off the coast of Almería, Spain. According to testimony collected by the Red Cross from survivors upon their arrival at the Port of Almería (as well as information provided by the Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras), at least 34 people were on board when the boat left Morocco, therefore an estimated 12 people remain missing. Unfortunately, the identities of those who died are currently unknown.
Also in the Western Mediterranean, a body was recovered near Barbate, Cádiz on 25 April – authorities believed he could be one of the migrants who went missing after a boat capsized on 1 April in the Gibraltar Strait, as the remains of two other migrants who lost their lives in that shipwreck have washed up on the shores of Barbate in recent weeks. Eleven people are thought to have died in that incident: so far, the remains of seven people have been recovered, while four remain missing.
In 2018, 198 people have died in the Western Mediterranean when attempting to reach Spain, compared to 224 in those waters through all of 2017.
IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 3,994 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through January with an additional 1,822 reaching Spain via land during 2018 (see charts below).

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Thursday that over three days (22-24 April) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least five incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos and Samos. The Coast Guard rescued 340 migrants and transferred them to those islands

Namia reported that 178 migrants arrived nearby on Kalymnos, Megisti and Chios, bringing the total to 7,818 since 1 January, for an average of just over 65 persons per day (see chart below).

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 987 people who died or went missing while migrating in 2018.  This compares with 1,757 at this time in 2017 through 25 April (see chart below).

On the US-Mexico border, one migrant died last Monday when the van in which he was travelling overturned in Mercedes, Texas, near the border with Mexico. Fourteen other migrants were also travelling in the van and survived the accident. Last Sunday, a 24-year-old Haitian man was killed when crossing the border with the Dominican Republic near Manzanillo, in the municipality of Montecristi.

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, Germany, 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, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 Ext. 109, Email: