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05 February 2016

Migrants and refugees struggle ashore on a Greek beach. © F. Malavolta 2016

Mediterranean Migrant Deaths Reach 374; Arrivals in Greece Top 68,000 in 2016

Posted on Fri. Feb-05-2016

Greece - IOM estimates that Mediterranean migrant and refugee arrivals in Italy and Greece reached 74,676 through February 4th.

The first four days of February saw 7,483 arrivals—surpassing the 6,834 recorded for the entire month of February in 2015.

Since the beginning of 2016, IOM estimates that 68,778 migrants and refugees have reached the Greek islands. Of these roughly 44 % were men, 22 % women and 34 % children.

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IOM provides winter support for displaced families in rural Aleppo, Syria. © IOM/Bonyan 2015

IOM DG Attends London Pledging Conference for Syria and the Region

Posted on Fri. Feb-05-2016

United Kingdom - IOM Director General William Lacy Swing attended this week’s ‘Supporting Syria and the Region 2016’ pledging conference in London co-hosted by the UK, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, and the United Nations.

The conference yesterday (4/2) built on the successes of the three previous international pledging conferences which took place in Kuwait, as well as on the Berlin Conference on the Syrian Refugee Situation in 2014 and the recent Resilience Development Forum in Amman.

Donors pledged over USD 10 billion, with some of the largest pledges coming from the European Union, Germany, UK, France, Norway, USA, Italy, Japan and Kuwait.

Speaking to the UK’s Guardian newspaper yesterday in London, Ambassador Swing hailed the generosity of the global community, but pointed out that aid was only part of the answer.

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For the latest Mediterranean Update data on arrivals and fatalities please visit: #MigrationEurope


A global database tracking data on deceased and missing migrants worldwide.
Visit #MissingMigrants

Migration in the News

  • The Guardian reported comments by IOM DG William Lacy Swing and UNHCR’s Vincent Cochetel at the Syria pledging conference in London to the effect that aid for Syrian refugees is welcome, but is no substitute for an end to  the war in Syria or an increase in legal routes for refugees seeking to reach Europe.

  • Kuwait News Agency reported that the Syria pledging conference in London, co-hosted by the UK, Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the UN, led to pledges of over USD 10 billion in aid.

  • New York Times reported that thousands of Iraqi migrants are returning home after being disappointed with what they found in Europe – perhaps due to unrealistic expectations.

  • New York Times reported that, according to IOM, an estimated 67,000 asylum seekers arrived in Europe in January.

  • RT reported that activists have launched a petition calling on EU leaders to scrap plans that would criminalize people who rescue migrants and refugees arriving on the Greek islands from Turkey.

  • Daily Caller reported that Germany has introduced a new bill that will reduce public benefits and make the country less attractive to refugees.

  • International Business Times, EMTV and Skerah (PNG) reported the survival story of two Papua New Guineans who drifted for 41 days in the Pacific Ocean.

  • WCVE News shared the story of Murtaza, an Afghan former child refugee resettled from Indonesia and now attending a high school in Central Virginia.

Trending on the Internet

  • The Guardian reported that the British Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company performed Hamlet for refugees at the Calais Jungle camp.

  • Quartz featured a shocking video shot by a photographer who traveled in an inflatable boat with migrants and refugees from Turkey to Greece.

Media Contacts

For comment / interviews on today's news, please go to the contact(s) listed at the end of each press briefing note.
For other information please contact the IOM Media & Communications team here