UN: Over 2.500 migrants dead or missing in Mediterranean by 2023
More than 2.500 migrants have died or are reported missing trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe
More than 2.500 migrants have died or are reported missing trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe since the start of the year, a UN refugee agency official said today.
"As of September 24, more than 2.500 people were counted as dead or missing in 2023. This figure represents an increase of two-thirds, compared to 1.680 people in the same period in 2022," said Reuven Menicdiuela, the director of the UNHCR office. UN Refugee Agency in New York, during a Security Council meeting on the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.
"Lives are also being lost on land, away from the world's attention," he insisted.
"Travel from West or East Africa and the Horn of Africa to Libya and departure points on the coast remains one of the most dangerous in the world," it said. "Refugees and migrants traveling by land routes in sub-Saharan Africa are at risk of death and serious human rights violations at every stage."
According to its data, from January 1 to September 24, 2023, a total of 186.000 migrants arrived in southern Europe (Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta), of which 130.000 in Italy, "an increase of 83% compared to same period of 2022".
In terms of countries of departure, from January to August 2023, more than 102.000 migrants attempted to cross the Mediterranean from Tunisia and 45.000 from Libya. Of those, 31.000 were rescued at sea or the boat they were on was intercepted and disembarked in Tunisia and 10.600 in Libya, he added.