GENEVA Nearly 3,000 migrants and refugees have already perished in the Mediterranean this year while almost 250,000 have reached Europe, the International Organization for Migration said on Friday.
IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a news briefing that the death toll stands at an estimated 2,977, adding that the 3,000 benchmark had been reached earlier than in previous years of the four-year emergency. “This is the earliest, it was Sept 2014 and Oct 2015,” he said.
In the four months since late March, about 20 migrants have been dying each day, mainly sub-Saharan Africans along the route from Libya to Italy, Millman added.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Catherine Evans)