Mediterranean route to Europe is still the deadliest for refugees- UN report

The United Nations' (UN) migration agency on Friday said some 5,989 refugees have reached Europe by sea in January, a slight decrease from the 6,550 arriving during the same period last year, while some 208 died while attempting.

"Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through just over four weeks of the new year are at 208 individuals, compared with 243 deaths during the same period in 2018," a report released by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said.

IOM also stated nearly 308 people have died or went missing around the world in the new year, making Mediterranean deaths “two-thirds of the worldwide total”.

In January, 1,839 refugees reached to Greece by crossing the East Mediterranean, the sea route from Turkey to Greece, while two drowned during the treacherous journey, according to the UN report.

Some 30,510 migrants died between 2014 and 2018 while making the dangerous journey to Europe, the UN agency reported in early January.

Turkey and the European Union signed a deal in 2016 to curb illegal immigration through the dangerous Aegean Sea route from Turkey to Greece. According to the deal, the EU promised the allocation of 3 billion euro in aid to Turkey, which is home to some 4 million who have fled Syria.