So far this year 2,920 deaths have been recorded, compared with 1,838 through the first six months of 2015. Migrant fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2016 are now 1,082 more than last year’s mid-year total. The 383 deaths in June – slightly fewer than 13 per day – were the highest monthly total for June in three years.
In the first three days of July, two landings took place in Italy. Some 352 rescued migrants were brought to Augusta and 349 to Catania, both in Italy.
The main departure country in 2016 has been Libya, followed by Egypt. Most of the rescue operations have occurred in the Channel of Sicily. Rescued migrants and refugees are brought to several ports in Sicily (Catania, Augusta, Porto Empedocle, Pozzallo, Palermo), Lampedusa, Calabria (Reggio Calabria, Crotone) and Apulia (Taranto).
IOM has staff deployed at the main landing points in Sicily (including Lampedusa), Calabria and Apulia. They provide legal assistance to those arriving by sea, monitor reception conditions and support the authorities in the identification of vulnerable groups.
Meanwhile in Greece, a total of 87 arrivals were recorded in the first three days in July.
IOM Greece has staff present in Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros and Crete. It works closely with the relevant authorities to identify vulnerable migrants, including unaccompanied minors, the elderly, people with medical needs and families with children. Vulnerable groups are referred to the relevant authorities to be provided with the necessary care.
Cover Photo: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images