COUNTRIES OF FIRST ARRIVAL
According to the available data from DTM flow monitoring in the Mediterranean, there were 18,956 new arrivals to Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Greece and Bulgaria in the first quarter of 2018. This represents almost a 50% decrease compared to the same period last year when 34,531 arrivals were reported. The decrease is mainly related to the drop in arrivals in Italy. This year, there were 6,290 registered arrivals in Italy compared to 24,292 reported in the first quarter of 2017. Moreover, the number of arrivals in Italy in 2018 are the lowest reported since 2014 (see more here). Aside from Italy, a decrease is also observed in registered arrivals to Bulgaria (714 in 2017 and 286 in 2018), Spain (5,204 in 2017 and 4,984 in 2018), and Cyprus (250 in 2017 and 47 in 2018). Greece was the only country that reported an increase in arrivals in 2018 when compared with the available data for previous years. By the end of March 2018, Hellenic authorities registered 7,343 new migrants and refugees which is a 67% increase compared to the 4,407 reported in the same period in 2017.
When looking at the dynamic in arrivals by land and sea, the authorities in Greece registered 2,145 individuals who arrived to the country by land, which is the highest figure reported since 2016. Notably, the majority of migrants and refugees who arrived by land, did so during March – a total of 1,327. This represents a three times increase compared to the 425 land arrivals reported in February and the 393 reported in January 2018.
Available information on the nationalities of migrants and refugees who arrived in Italy and Greece this year, indicates a slight change in comparison to the profile registered in the same period last year. Eritrean nationals were the largest registered nationality this year in Italy comprising a quarter of all arrivals (25%) followed by those originating from Tunisia (19%), Nigeria (6%), Pakistan (5%), Côte d´Ivoire (4%), Libya (4%), Sudan (4%) and Guinea (4%). In contrast to that, the available nationality breakdown for the same period in 2017 shows that by the end of March migrants from Eritrea were placed last on the list of the top ten registered nationality groups comprising only 2% of the overall registered caseload while migrants and refugees from Guinea and Nigeria were the largest two nationality groups each comprising 13 per cent of the overall population followed by those arriving from Bangladesh (12%), Côte d´Ivoire (10%), the Gambia (9%) and Senegal (8%) (Find more information here).
In the first quarter of 2018, Syrian nationals were the largest nationality group registered, comprising more than a third of the overall caseload (37%), followed by migrants and refugees from Iraq (28%), Afghanistan (12%), Cameroon (3%) and Iran (2%). The breakdown resembles the profile of nationalities registered in the previous year, except for the higher presence of Algerian (9%) and Pakistani (6%) nationals registered between January and March in 2017.
Despite the decrease in arrivals via the Central Mediterranean route, this route is still the deadliest maritime crossing in the direction of Europe. In the first quarter of 2018 there were 506 casualties reported in the Mediterranean, and 70% (359) of these incidents involved migrants and refugees bound for Italy from Northern Africa (Libya primarily).
The remaining deaths were reported in the Western Mediterranean (128) and in the Eastern Mediterranean (19). Looking at the overall number of dead and missing migrants this year, there was a slight decrease from the 803 reported in the first three months of 2017and the 749 reported in the first quarter of 2016 (found more information here).