A new report from the United Nations (UN) migration agency International Organisation for Migration (IMO) has revealed that a total of 2,361 migrants and refugees died attempting to enter Europe via the Mediterranean sea from 1 January to 21 July 2017.
However, this figure is lower than the 3,047 deaths recorded during the same period last year, but marks the fourth consecutive year that has seen migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea exceeding 2,350.
The total number of recorded deaths includes 2,567 that occurred on the central Mediterranean route, while the eastern and western Mediterranean routes saw 383 and 97 deaths respectively.
The IMP report found that a total of 112,018 migrants and refugees were estimated to have entered Europe by sea through 23 July this year, compared to 250,586 arrivals in the same period in 2016.
An estimated 85% of this year’s arrivals entered via Italy, while the rest were divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain.
IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has also shown that 3,282 fatalities were reported worldwide up to 23 July 2017, with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths.
Additionally, a separate IOM report has revealed that the cost of reaching Europe via the eastern Mediterranean route for migrants has increased significantly compared to last year.
The increase is said to be due to changing entry routes, as well as different countries of destination being prioritised by the migrants.