GENEVA, JUNE 13 – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) reported on Tuesday that 73,189 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 11 June, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 211,433 arrivals across the region through 11 June 2016. Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported that there have been 2,524 fatalities through 11 June with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths: 1,808, over 70 per cent of the global total.
IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported that since Friday, when IOM last released figures, over 3,000 migrants and refugees have been rescued between Europe and the North African coast, numbers that are not reflected in the official numbers shared by Italian authorities as not all those men, women and children have arrived in port.
Di Giacomo said on Monday that over the weekend, 2,942 migrants were rescued by the joint efforts of NGOs and Italian and international military ships. He added that on Monday a Swedish ship operating under Operation Triton rescued 356 migrants at sea from three dinghies and brought them to Catania. The 79 survivors on one of them had partially sunk and at least 61 migrants who had been on board remain missing at sea. Eight bodies (two men and six women) were also recovered from that same dinghy. At least one other victim was reported in a separate incident, whose remains were brought to Palermo.
IOM Rome also reported the breakdown of main arrivals to Italy by nationality through the end of May (see chart below). Nigerians (9,286 men, women and children) comprised the number one nationality – as they had a year ago – with Bangladeshis (7,106) in second place. The next eight countries were: Guinea (5,960), Cote d’Ivoire (5,657), the Gambia (4,011), Senegal (3,935), Morocco (3,327), Mali (3,150), Eritrea (2,344) and Sudan (2,327).
The arrivals from Eritrea, Sudan, and the Gambia are down from 2016 – even though overall arrivals to Italy by sea have risen – while those from Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Morocco, Mali and Guinea are all up. In the case of Bangladesh, the increase is from 20 recorded arrivals at this point in 2016 to over 7,000 this year. Through all of 2016, just over 8,000 Bangladeshis made this same journey to Italy from Africa – a level nearly reached this year after only five months. @OnuItalia)