According to a report released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Friday, over 63,000+ migrants have come to Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea, as of September 18th of this year.
“IOM reports that 63,417 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 18 September, roughly a 20 percent decrease from the 78,372 arriving during a similar period last year”, the statement says.
The statement also mentions that the flow of migrants has intensified substantially in the past few weeks, with nearly 20,000 arrivals in the last month alone.
Of all the European countries, Greece and Spain have seen the most arrivals, with 32,767 and 16,894, respectively, and nearly 50,000 combined, accounting for about 78 percent of the regional total. The remaining 22 percent arrived in Italy, Malta, and Cyprus.
The number of migrant arrivals to Greece is nearly 50 percent ahead of 2018’s totals from the same period, whereas arrivals to Spain are almost 50 percent lower.
Thus far, the number of migrants who have died or are missing in the Mediterranean stands at 953, nearly half as many that occurred during the same period last year.
In the following years since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, although still significant in number, the amount of migrant arrivals in Europe has steadily decreased. This can be attributed to several factors such as the war in Syria finally winding down, as well as stricter border security and immigration policies put forward by front-line EU member states like Hungary and Italy.