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Migrant Arrivals in the Mediterranean Reach 29 844 in 2019: IOM

GENEVA – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 29,844 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea until July 3, 36% less than the 46,441 arrived in the same period on last year.
Nearly half of arrivals this year (13,997) landed in Greece, while another third (10,538) landed in Spain. Greece and Spain together account for 82% of irregular landings in the region, with the balance falling to a much smaller extent in Italy, Malta and Cyprus.
The deaths recorded on the three main routes of the Mediterranean Sea during the six months of 2019 amounted to 681 people, nearly half of the 1,414 confirmed deaths during the same period in 2018.
Flavio Di Giacomo, from IOM Rome, quoted official Interior Ministry figures of 2,790 migrants arriving in Italy by sea from July 3, compared with 16,709 at the same time in 2018. IOM Libya reported that 3,700 migrants were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya in 2019.
Ana Dodevska of Spanish IOM reported on Thursday that arrivals by sea in Spain until 3 July had reached 10,538 men, women and children. That’s on average nearly 58 people a day, compared to the previous year, until June 30, with just over 83 people a day.
According to the report of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, this represents a decrease of 27.4% compared to the same period last year (3,951 fewer people).
While monthly arrivals in Spain are generally decreasing this year, the number of deaths on the western Mediterranean route remains high – 202 deaths were reported during the six months of this year, compared with 294 at the same date in 2018.
Christine Nikolaidou, from Greece, said Thursday that since 2 July, the Hellenic Coastguard had reported at least 12 incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Leros, Kos , from Samos and the port of Alexandropoulos. The HCG rescued a total of 459 migrants and transferred them to their respective ports.
These arrivals, plus another 30 entries recorded by IOM on 1 July, bring to 13,997 the total number of arrivals by sea in Greece this year.
2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes around the world through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded death of 32,324 people, including 1,367 in 2019
Due to the difficulties in collecting information about these people and the context of their deaths, the actual number of lives lost during migration is probably much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be considered as an indication of the risks associated with migration, rather than as an indicator of the actual number of deaths over time or geography.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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