- Title: Mediterranean three times more deadly than 2015, U.N. says
- Date: 25th October 2016
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (OCTOBER 25, 2016) (REUTERS) UNITED NATION ENTRANCE WITH FLAGS VARIOUS OF NEWS BRIEFING IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR SPOKESMAN, WILLIAM SPINDLER, SAYING: "The death toll, this year, among refugees and migrants is already the highest ever recorded, with two months of 2016 still to go, at least 3,740 lives are reported lost and we might see this figure rise in the next few days." JOURNALISTS LISTENING JOURNALIST TYPING ON COMPUTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR SPOKESMAN, WILLIAM SPINDLER, SAYING: "And that is just short of the 3,771 deaths reported for the whole of 2015. This is by far the worst we ever have seen in the Mediterranean." JOURNALISTS LISTENING JOURNALIST LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR SPOKESMAN, WILLIAM SPINDLER, SAYING: "If you consider that last year there were a million people crossing the Mediterranean, and the number of deaths is about the same as this year, when three times less (fewer) people have crossed, then you could say that the death rate has increased three-fold." JOURNALISTS LISTENING NEWS BRIEFING IN PROGRESS UNITED NATIONS SIGN CATANIA, ITALY (OCTOBER 23, 2016) (REUTERS) EUROPEAN UNION NAVAL FORCE MEDITERRANEAN (EUNAVFORMED) SHIP ENTERPRISE IN PORT WITH RESCUED MIGRANTS ON DECK VARIOUS OF BODIES OF THREE DEAD MIGRANTS BEING WINCHED DOWN FROM SHIP DECK MIGRANTS ON DECK MIGRANTS ON GANGPLANK
- Embargoed: 9th November 2016 11:23
- Keywords: United Nations migrants Europe deaths Mediterranean crossing
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / CATANIA, ITALY
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / CATANIA, ITALY
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: United Nations
- Reuters ID: LVA00155I7BK7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The death toll on the Mediterranean has nearly matched that of all last year, with more than 3,740 migrants and refugees having drowned on their way to Europe, and perilous winter months still to come, aid agencies said on Tuesday (October 25).
Smugglers are now sending thousands of people on flimsy inflatable rafts from Libya to Italy in mass embarkations, perhaps to lower their own risks of being caught, but also complicating the work of rescue teams, they said.
At least 3,740 people have perished so far, nearly matching the death toll of 3,771 for all of 2015 when three times as many people, more than one million, took to the seas, the United Nations refugee agency said.
"This is by far the worst we ever have seen in the Mediterranean," William Spindler, spokesman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a news briefing. "You could say that the death rate has increased three-fold."
About 2,200 migrants were plucked to safety in the central Mediterranean in 21 rescue missions on Monday and 16 bodies were recovered, the Italian Coast Guard said.
At least 17 corpses from those weekend incidents are being brought to Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.
Since the European Union-Turkey deal in March to close down pathways to Greece, the Libya to Italy route across the central Mediterranean has become the main route.
One in 47 migrants or refugees attempting the voyage between Libya and Italy dies, Spindler said.
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