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IOM: Refugee Arrivals in Europe Down Sharply but Deaths Up

  • VOA News

FILE - An Egyptian coast guard dinghy brings bodies from a Europe-bound boat that capsized off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, to the shore in Rosetta, Egypt, Sept. 22, 2016.

FILE - An Egyptian coast guard dinghy brings bodies from a Europe-bound boat that capsized off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, to the shore in Rosetta, Egypt, Sept. 22, 2016.

The number of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe has fallen sharply this year but migration to the continent has grown more deadly, according to new data released Tuesday by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

From January 1 through September 25, 302,149 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea, a drop of more than 40 percent from the same period last year, the IOM, the largest migration organization in the world, reported.

Refugee deaths rose, however, with the IOM recording 3,501 refugee and migrant fatalities through September 25, up nearly 20 percent from the same period last year.

In the latest tragedy, a boat overloaded with at least 600 migrants headed for Europe capsized off the coast of Egypt last week, killing at least 170 people.

Egyptians wait on shore as a coast guard boat arrives carrying the bodies of migrants from a Europe-bound boat that capsized off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, in Rosetta, Egypt, Sept. 22, 2016.

Egyptians wait on shore as a coast guard boat arrives carrying the bodies of migrants from a Europe-bound boat that capsized off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, in Rosetta, Egypt, Sept. 22, 2016.

Last year more than 1 million refugees and migrants fled to Europe, as the conflict in Syria spurred the largest migration crisis in the world since World War II.

Syrian refugees accounted for the largest group of migrants seeking asylum in Europe, followed by migrants from Afghanistan and Iraq.

FILE - Migrants wait for their registration in front of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees at Berlin's Spandau district, Germany, Jan. 29, 2016.

FILE - Migrants wait for their registration in front of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees at Berlin's Spandau district, Germany, Jan. 29, 2016.

Most refugees enter Europe either through Greece or Italy. The IOM said that while arrivals to Italy have remained steady this year, arrivals in Greece have fallen by 20,000 since late March. Since Friday, it recorded a mere 51 arrivals in Greece.

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