Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 348,664; Deaths at Sea: 4,690

Switzerland - IOM reports that 348,664 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 29 November, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy.

Some 171,731 people have arrived in Greece and 171,299 in Italy during 2016. The total is well below the number of arrivals at this point in 2015, by which time some 883,393 migrants and refugees had made the journey.

The total number of migrant and refugee fatalities in the Mediterranean since the beginning of 2016 is now 4,690. Through 30 November 2015, a total of 3,565 men, women and children were reported drowned – some 1,125 fewer than this year.

The 171,299 migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Italy by sea in 2016 has already surpassed the number registered in all of 2014 – previously the highest number of arrivals in Italy registered in a calendar year. This figure is also about 18 percent more than the number registered in the same period last year, when the Italian authorities recorded 144,205 arrivals through the end of November.

The figures, provided by the Italian Ministry of Interior, show that migrants continued to cross the Mediterranean, despite dangerous sea conditions and colder winter weather.

Yesterday 1,413 migrants were rescued during 13 operations carried out between Libya and Italy, bringing the total picked up since last weekend to 2,070. The migrants were rescued in operations carried out by the Norwegian Siem Pilot, several Italian Coast Guard ships, the Italian Navy ships Borsini, Grecale and Fasan and other international rescue ships.

“In November 2016, 11,872 arrivals were registered, compared to 3,219 in November 2015, and 9,295 in November 2014,” said IOM Italy spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo.

The new arrivals included some migrants rescued from a vessel which left Izmir in Turkey. It was carrying 229 people, including Iraqis, Iranians and Syrians, and was picked up by the Siem Pilot – a ship working under Operation Triton. The migrants were brought to Catania.

“It is not the first time we have had boats arriving in Italy from Turkey. When they do, they are usually intercepted not far from the coast of Calabria. It is a sporadic phenomenon and therefore for the moment, it is too soon to draw any conclusions that the rescue of this vessel is the start of a new route from Turkey,” said Di Giacomo.

As of 28 November, Nigeria remains the top sending country with 35,716 migrants arriving in Italy in 2016, followed by Eritrea (20,000), Guinea (12,352), Cote d’Ivoire (11,406) and Gambia (11,022).

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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: 
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Mazen Aboulhosn at IOM Turkey, Tel: +9031245 51202, Email:
Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email:  or Ashraf Hassan, Tel: +216297 94707, Email:


For information or interview requests in French:
Florence Kim, OIM Genève, Tel: +41 79 103 03 42, Email:
Flavio Di Giacomo, OIM Italie, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: