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Mediterranean Situation Update

21 Nov 2017


IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 157,020 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 12 November, with about 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 341,215 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Monday (13 November) Italy’s Ministry of Interior has registered 114,606 migrants arriving by sea so far, this year, which is down from 164,872 at this time in 2016. That is a 30.5 per cent drop-off over last year’s totals at this time.



IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday (13/11) total sea arrivals had topped 16,000, including 418 registered during the past weekend:  276 on Saturday and 142 on Sunday. She said the main ports of arrivals were Almeria, Tarifa, Malaga, Motril, Barbate and Algeciras.


IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday (13/11) of at least three incidents this weekend off the island of Lesvos that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 148 migrants and transferred them to safety.


Almost 14,000 (13,932) men, women and children have entered Greece by sea from the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean since 1 August, or more migrants than entered during all of 2017’s first seven months. Namia further reported that more than 1,500 migrants or refugees entered Greece by sea through November’s first 11 days, bringing migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory to 25,337 for the year so far (see chart below). 



IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Monday (13 November) the remains of two bodies were discovered by locals onshore at Al Maya, west of Tripoli, on 12 November. These latest fatalities are not part of the 2,966-figure cited above.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported the remains of three children were recovered over the last few days in the same area near Mantamados, on the north-eastern coast of Lesvos, Greece. In the Western Mediterranean, the remains of two young men were recovered from a beach on 9 November near Tangiers, Morocco. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,966, a figure that compares with 4,329 at this same point last year.


IOM Cyprus’ Dimitrios Tsagalas reported new details of a boat arrival on 3 November