Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 352,471; Deaths at Sea: 4,733

Switzerland - IOM reports that 352,471 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 7 December, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy, compared with 910,563 through this same date in 2015.

Some 174,603 people have arrived by sea in Italy and 172,234 in Greece during 2016, with much smaller numbers arriving in Cyprus and Spain.

The total number of migrant and refugee fatalities in the Mediterranean since the beginning of 2016 is now 4,733. This is 1,127 more deaths than at this point last year, when 3,606 men, women and children were reported drowned through December 7.

Reports surfaced this week of migrants either drowned or missing off Morocco and on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Libya. At least four were reported dead and two missing off Morocco – two corpses were recovered during a Wednesday rescue mission.

Despite dropping seasonal temperatures, Italian authorities reported that arrivals continued this week.

A total of 252 arrivals by sea were registered between 5-7 December on the Greek islands of Lesvos, Kos, Samos and Chios.

IOM Athens notes that the vast majority of arrivals to Greece came in the first three months of 2016 – around 88 percent of the year’s total. From an average of just under 2,000 arrivals daily through late March, numbers have fallen to under 21,000 through the past eight months, or fewer than 90 people per day.

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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:
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: