Over 140,000 Migrants Arrive in Greece, Italy across Mediterranean in 2016 - IOM

World | March 8, 2016, Tuesday // 19:34
Bulgaria: Over 140,000 Migrants Arrive in Greece, Italy across Mediterranean in 2016 - IOM Migrants and refugees disembark from a ferry coming from the Greek islands of the north-eastern Aegean sea in the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, 8 March 2016. Photo EPA/BGNES

The flow of migrants and refugees to the Greek islands from Turkey continues despite efforts by NATO to discourage people smugglers by increasing naval deployment in the Aegean Sea, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said.

Total arrivals in Greece and Italy have reached an estimated 141,141 between January 1 and March 7, the IOM announced on its website on Tuesday. Arrivals in Greece totalled 131,847, while those in Italy were less than a tenth of that number.

The number of migrant arrivals so far this year is nearly seven times higher compared with 20,700 arrivals in Greece and Italy in the first three months of 2015.

On Sunday, at least 25 migrants were reported drowned in the waters separating Turkey and Greece, bringing the number of fatalities in the Mediterranean to an estimated 443 in 2016, the IOM said.

Since the beginning of 2016, 63,038 Syrians, 33,844 Afghans and 21,514 Iraqis have arrived on the Greek islands. About 3,900 migrants from Pakistan and Iran each have also arrived on the islands, the IOM said, citing Greek Coast Guard data.


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Tags: migrants, turkey, greece, Italy, Mediterranean, Aegean, islands, NATO
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