Migrants being rescued by the NGO's rescue ship 'Aquarius' in the Mediterranean. PHOTO/ARCHIVE/EPA/Guglielmo Mangiapane/SOS MEDITERRANEE
Migrants being rescued by the NGO's rescue ship 'Aquarius' in the Mediterranean. PHOTO/ARCHIVE/EPA/Guglielmo Mangiapane/SOS MEDITERRANEE

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said that 6,413 migrants and refugees have reached Europe by sea in 2019 as of February 3. A total of 208 were reported to have died during the crossing over the same period.

The UN agency for migration IOM has reported that in the first 34 days of 2019 a total of 6,413 migrants and refugees reached Europe by sea. That's a 17 percent decrease from the 7,499 who arrived during the same period last year. 


However, the organization said in a statement, almost all of that decrease is attributed to the ''virtual disappearance of new arrivals to Italy, where only 202 people have arrived in 2019, compared with 4,723 through these same days in 2018." 

Spain's arrivals this year are already more than triple those registered in 2018 over the same period. Arrivals to Greece also are about 33 percent higher than at this time last year. 

A reported 208 people died along the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost five weeks of the new year, compared with 391 deaths during the same period in 2018. 

Data on arrivals in 2019 

IOM reports that 202 people who travelled along the central Mediterranean route reached Italy by sea while 49 landed in Malta from January 1 until February 3. As far as the eastern Mediterranean route is concerned, 1,974 migrants and refugees reached Greece in 2019, as of February 3, including 135 during the first three days of February. 

Moreover, 84 people reached Cyprus in the first 34 days of the year. As far as the western Mediterranean route, 4,104 migrants reached Spain's coasts this year, a strong increase compared to the 1,275 arrivals registered on January 1-30 last year. 

354 migrants died worldwide in 2019 

So far in 2019, IOM's Missing Migrants Project has recorded 354 people who have died during migration, the organization said in the statement. The UN agency in particular noted that the Coast Guard of Djibouti has confirmed that a total of 86 people were on board boats that sank last week off the coast of Obock, Djibouti. After 16 people were rescued, 52 bodies have been recovered and 18 remain missing at sea. Three women are among the dead. The passengers were mostly Ethiopian Oromo. There were also Ethiopian Amhara, Ethiopian Somali and one person from Yemen. The boats left from Godoria, in north-east Djibouti, with the aim of reaching the Arabian Peninsula. 
 

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