By Sami Zaptia.
London, 28 November 2016:
Migrants continue to cross the Mediterranean from Libya in record numbers despite dangerous sea conditions and colder winter weather, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says in its latest report published today.
The report states that 348,664 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea and there were 4,690 deaths at sea in 2016 up to 29 November.
The IOM report states that 171,731 people arrived in Greece and 171,299 in Italy during 2016. However, the total is well below the number of arrivals at this point in 2015, by which time some 883,393 migrants and refugees had made the journey.
Yesterday alone, 1,413 migrants were rescued during 13 operations carried out between Libya and Italy, bringing the total picked up since last weekend to 2,070. The migrants were rescued in operations carried out by the Norwegian Siem Pilot, several Italian Coast Guard ships, the Italian Navy ships Borsini, Grecale and Fasan and other international rescue ships, the IOM reported.
“In November 2016, 11,872 arrivals were registered, compared to 3,219 in November 2015, and 9,295 in November 2014,” said IOM Italy spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo.
As of 28 November, Nigeria remains the top sending country with 35,716 migrants arriving in Italy in 2016, followed by Eritrea (20,000), Guinea (12,352), Cote d’Ivoire (11,406) and Gambia (11,022).
The top 5 nationalities arriving in Italy through the Mediterranean Sea (source IOM) until 28 November.
The total number of migrant and refugee fatalities in the Mediterranean since the beginning of 2016 is now 4,690. Up until 30 November 2015, a total of 3,565 men, women and children were reported drowned – some 1,125 fewer than this year.
The 171,299 migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Italy by sea in 2016 has already surpassed the number registered in all of 2014 – previously the highest number of arrivals in Italy registered in a calendar year. This figure is also about 18 percent more than the number registered in the same period last year, when the Italian authorities recorded 144,205 arrivals until the end of November.
The figures, provided by the Italian Ministry of Interior, states the IOM report, show that migrants continued to cross the Mediterranean, despite dangerous sea conditions and colder winter weather, concludes the IOM report.