GENEVA—A total of 20,484 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe so far this year, down from over 160,000 over the same period in 2016, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported Tuesday.
Latest statistics reveal that most of this year’s arrivals have been documented on Italian shores (16,248), with the remaining landing in Greece (3,236) and Spain (1,000).
According to IOM, 525 men, women and children have drowned while making the perilous journey since the beginning of the year, slightly fewer than the 553 who died over the same period last year.
Most of 2017’s deaths (481) have been recorded on the central Mediterranean route linking North Africa with Italy.
A further 44 fatalities have been documented on western and eastern Mediterranean Sea passages.
A record 5,079 migrants and refugees died last year while crossing the Mediterranean Sea, up from 3,771 fatalities in 2015.