Migrants disembark in the port of Algeciras, Spain. Credit: EPA/A.CARRASCO RAGEL
Migrants disembark in the port of Algeciras, Spain. Credit: EPA/A.CARRASCO RAGEL

The UN migration agency International Organization for Migration said in a statement that migrant arrivals to Europe have already surpassed 100,000 thus far in 2018. This is the fifth consecutive year in which migrant arrivals have broken the 100,000 mark.

The UN migration agency International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that 100,630 migrants and refugees have entered Europe since the start of 2018 through November 4, with just under 50 percent arriving in Spain. The total is less than that of the same period in 2017, when arrivals had reached 154,825; and significantly less than 2016, when arrivals were at 337,773. 


The IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) estimated that at least 1,989 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the Mediterranean so far in 2018, compared with 2,960 at this time in 2017 and 3,780 in 2016. IOM said this is the fifth straight year arrivals of irregular migrants and refugees have topped the 100,000 benchmark - although in all previous years that arrival threshold was reached much earlier in the year. In 2017 that quantity of arrivals was reached in July, as in 2014. In 2015, Mediterranean arrivals reached 100,000 in June. In 2016 the number was reached in February. 

Libyan Coast Guard activity 

IOM Libya reported this week that the total number of vulnerable migrants rescued or intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard through the end of October was 14,377; this is close to the number (14,349) who have agreed to Voluntary Humanitarian Return departures from Libya since the start of the year. It also reported this week that during the last two weeks of October the organization's staff had been able to assist 1,600 migrants in four different Libyan detention centers, and 93 more at disembarkation points along the Libyan coast. 

Arrivals in Spain and Greece 

Ana Dodevska of IOM Spain reported total arrivals to Spain by sea in 2018 have reached 49,013 men, women and children who were rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through November 4. Christine Nikolaidou of IOM Greece said that over five recent days (Wednesday, October 31 through Sunday, November 4), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported there were at least 10 incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos, Lesbo and Kos. 

The HCG rescued a total of 406 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands. IOM Greece said additional arrivals of 219 migrants or refugees to those same islands - as well as to Rhodes - over those recent days brings to 27,715 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through November 4.
 

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