Mediterranean migrant arrivals reach 11,169; deaths: 258. Global deaths top 400

IOM reports that 11,169 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 8 February – about 85 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Greece. This compares with 76,395 during the first 39 days of 2016.

IOM Rome registered 70 additional arrivals on Thursday that are not included in the total above. With some 9,400 arrivals in Italy since 1 January 2017, IOM Rome notes that this winter’s migration flow already has surpassed totals for the first two months of each of the past two years.

In 2016, IOM recorded 9,101 arrivals in Italy during January and February, and 7,882 in 2015. IOM notes this year’s pace already out-strips either of the past two year’s two-month totals, this with nearly three weeks remaining in February.

Meanwhile IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reports an estimated 258 deaths at sea on various routes, compared with 416 during the first 39 days of 2016.  The few deaths recorded since IOM’s last report on Tuesday included three children reported drowned off Libya, and an Ethiopian woman who died in the waters between Greece and Turkey.

The 258 figure does not include the death of a 15-year-old boy from Ethiopia, who reportedly died in an Italian hospital days after he was rescued in the Channel of Sicily. IOM’s Rome spokesperson Flavio di Giacomo reported the youth died from drinking sea water.

This week  from the US-Mexico border, IOM recorded the deaths of 15 migrants in one location: Pima County, Arizona. Combined with drowning deaths already recorded, that region has registered nearly one death per day since the start of the year.