IOM: Hundred Disappeared or Dead in Mediterranean


Sudan Events – Sumaya Sayed 

The International Organization of Migration (IOM) has revealed today that nearly 100 people have died or disappeared in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean since the beginning of 2024.

The toll is over twice as high as the figure for the same period of 2023, the deadliest year for migrants at sea in Europe since 2016.

“The Italy-Africa Conference is a critical opportunity to discuss unified and sustainable mechanisms to stop further needless loss of human life on treacherous routes, and to protect people on the move,” said Amy Pope, Director General of IOM.

Italy aims to strengthen its role as a bridge between Europe and Africa through a model of cooperation, development, and equal partnership. It will present its plan for a platform of shared ideas for discussion with partners during the conference.

The conference is coming at a time when the number of people presumed to be dead or missing is on the rise. Three “invisible” shipwrecks coming from Libya, Lebanon, and Tunisia within the last six weeks carrying 158 people — are unaccounted for, though IOM has recorded 73 of those people as missing and presumed dead.

Authorities rescued a group of 62 migrants off Cape Greco, Cyprus, who left Lebanon on 18 January. Most are hospitalized and described as severely ill, with several children in a critical condition. One child has since died.

Seven bodies that came ashore in Antayla, Türkiye, in recent days are believed to belong to a group of 85 migrants missing on 11 December.

IOM, as Coordinator of the UN Network on Migration, together with other UN agencies and humanitarian partners, is working on recommendations to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in distress and tackle the tragedy of those who risk their lives on dangerous routes.

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