IOM: Migrant Arrivals to Europe Likely to Exceed One Million in 2016
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), it is possible for the number of migrants and refugees arriving to Europe to exceed the one million mark this year as it did in 2015.
This was stated by IOM spokesperson Joel Millman, TASS news agency quotes him as saying.
Millman identified this as a reasonable forecast given that there has been no considerable change to the conditions forcing people to flee their countries.
According to estimates of the organisation, around 65 000 migrants reached Europe in the month of January alone.
If this number is sustained throughout the next months, this will amount to 780 000 at the end of the year, but it should be taken into account that the migrant flow intensifies during the summer.
A total of 91 % of migrants passing through the borders of Greece and Macedonia come from three countries – Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
More than 370 people have died while crossing the Mediterranean sea since the beginning of the year.
According to the latest estimates of IOM released on Friday, the migrant and refugee arrivals by sea to Greece and Italy amounted to 74 676 between January 1 and February 4.
Since the beginning of the year, a total of 374 migrant deaths have been registered.
In the first four days of February alone, there were 7483 arrivals which surpassed the number of migrants recorded for the entire month of February last year.
Since the beginning of the year, 68 778 have reached the Greek islands, with 44 % of them being men, 22 % women and 34 % children.
IOM Greece noted a high interest among migrants towards the EU-funded Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme which helps them return home if they wish to do so.
Since the beginning of the year, 1600 people have registered for the programme, 710 have already departed and another 400 are expected to leave in the next two weeks.
Since the beginning of February, 625 migrants were rescued at sea and brought to Italian ports.
In January 2016, 52 103 people applied for asylum in Germany, which represented an increase of 108.1 % compared to the same month last year.
A total of 476 649 people applied for asylum in Germany in 2015, with the top countries of origin being Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Albania, Iran, Serbia, Pakistan and Eritrea.
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