More than half a million immigrants and refugees arrived in Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 and nearly 3,000 died or are considered missing, according to data released today by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“This year, a total of nearly 515,000 immigrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean: almost 383,000 arrived in Greece and about 129,000 in Italy,” the UNHCR said stating that 54% of them are Syrians and 13% Afghans.
In Greece, 71% of people who arrived are Syrians.
At the same time, about 2,980 refugees and migrants were killed or have been reported as “missing” in their attempt to reach Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.
In 2014, nearly 3,500 people were killed or remain missing in Mediterranean waters, according to UNHCR.
“Despite the concerted efforts of the joint European research and rescue operation in the framework of Frontex, who saved tens of thousands of lives this year, the Mediterranean continues to be the most deadly road for refugees and migrants,” the UNHCR states.
According to the UNHCR, many people arriving by sea in southern Europe, particularly in Greece, come from countries affected by violence and conflict, such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. These people need international protection and are often exhausted and mentally injured.
European countries agreed last week to the distribution of 120,000 immigrants and refugees and economic assistance to the neighboring countries of Syria. However, the UN called on leaders to do more at the time when Europe is facing the biggest migration crisis since the II. World War.
UNHCR statement via Ethnos.gr
I suppose the UNHCR data takes into consideration arrivals in the period January-August 2015.
I heard on Greek state television ERT that 73,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece in September alone.