Migrant death toll spikes in Mediterranean- UN

Migrant death toll spikes in Mediterranean- UN

More than 2,500 migrants have lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe so far in 2016, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced Tuesday.

In 2015 by contrast 1,855 people had died in the first five months of the year.

“On a Mediterranean-wide basis, the odds of being among the dead are currently one in 81,” UNHCR spokesman William Spindler told a press briefing in Geneva.

He added that the North Africa-Italy route was even more dangerous: “2,119 of the deaths reported so far this year have been among people making this journey, making for odds of dying as high as one in 23.”

Most the migrants making this journey are from Nigeria and Gambia, as most Syrians, Afghans, and Iraqis continue to take the Turkey-Greece route, according to the UNHCR.

Just during the past week an estimated 880 migrants died migrants and refugees died trying to cross the Mediterranean. Humanitarian organizations have circulated a photo of a German rescue worker holding a drowned baby to persuade European authorities to take action on this ongoing tragedy.

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