25 Maghreb migrants rescued arriving on board of a Red Cross boat in Almeria, Andalusia, August 3. Red Cross members and Navy Rescue members rescued 58 people in Alboran Island. PHOTO/EPA/CARLOS BARBA
25 Maghreb migrants rescued arriving on board of a Red Cross boat in Almeria, Andalusia, August 3. Red Cross members and Navy Rescue members rescued 58 people in Alboran Island. PHOTO/EPA/CARLOS BARBA

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported that 850 people died in June and July as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe. Spain is recording the highest number of landings, the UN agency said.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported that 850 people died in June and July as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe. The Mediterranean is becoming the ''deadliest'' sea worldwide, it denounced. 


Number of deaths has risen despite fewer arrivals 

The organization also reported that the number of deaths has increased at an ''alarming'' rate despite a decrease in the total number of arrivals on Europe's coasts compared to previous years. According to data published by UNHCR, in the first seven months of the year, 60,000 migrants attempted the crossing (half the number reported last year), including 1,500 who lost their lives. In particular, one in 31 of those who attempted the crossing died in June and July, against one in 49 in 2017. 

Spain experiencing emergency 

The UN refugee agency UNHCR stressed that Spain is currently experiencing a migrant emergency. While over the past few years Italy recorded the highest number of arrivals, Spain has now become the main destination for migrants, the agency said. 

A reported 23,500 people have arrived by sea since the start of the year, compared to 18,500 in Italy and 16,000 in Greece. According to UNHCR, 13.5 percent of those who reach Europe by sea are currently Syrian nationals, proof of the ''desperation of these people who are experiencing the most serious refugee crisis in the world''. 

Libya recovered some 100 bodies of migrants in 2018 UN refugee agency says 

Libya's coast guard has recovered some 100 bodies of Europe-bound migrants off its coast in 2018. Also, as of July 31, the Libyan coast guard had also intercepted or rescued 12,633 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, near its shores. 
 

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