BERLIN – The International Organization for Migration says the number of migrants and asylum seekers who have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe this year is nearing 250,000 and already is above the total for the whole of 2014.
The Geneva-based IOM said Friday that Greece has reported 134,988 arrivals from Turkey this year, while Italy recorded 93,540 newcomers up to the end of July. Adding in arrivals in Spain and Malta, the group says that 237,000 people have made the crossing in 2015. It is forecasting that the total will top a quarter-million by the end of August.
Over the whole of last year, 219,000 made the risky crossing to Europe.
The IOM estimated that at least 2,300 people have died trying to make the crossing this year.