21 Dec, GENEV-
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday that 4,901 migrants and refugees have died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach European shores so far this year, up from 3,777 for the whole of 2015.
“The mortality rate in 2016 far exceeds that of 2015. This year one migrant has died for every 73 migrants who arrive safely,” IOM said in a statement.
“In 2015 the figure was one death for every 267 successful crossings,” it added.
According to latest statistics, most deaths (4,403) have been documented on the central Mediterranean passage linking North Africa with Italy.
A further 429 deaths have been recorded on the eastern Mediterranean route separating Turkey and Greece, with remaining fatalities observed on western Mediterranean sea routes.
While the number of deaths this year is significantly higher than last year’s, arrivals are much lower.
A total of 358,156 migrant maritime entries have been registered in Europe since January, compared to over 1 million arrivals over the course of 2015.