Rome, Aug 22 (EFE).- More than 2,000 migrants have died so far this year trying to cross the Central Mediterranean, the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday.
The United Nations agency warned that the true death toll is likely far higher.
“To date, over 2,000 (2,013) migrants have died in the Central Mediterranean in 2023,” spokesman Flavio di Giacomo wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The figures were the IOM’s “lowest estimate”, di Giacomo added, as “small metal boats fleeing Tunisia have probably caused so many shipwrecks that have gone unreported.”
“The emergency is humanitarian,” he said.
The IOM spokesman confirmed to Efe that the 2,013 deaths were only in the Central Mediterranean, where last year 974 died in the same period. The official death toll for the entire Mediterranean this year is 2,265.
According to the latest Italian government data, more than 100,000 migrants have arrived in the country since the beginning of 2023, an increase of more than 115% compared to the same period last year.
The spike in arrivals led the government, led by the far-right Giorgia Meloni, to declare a “state of migratory emergency.”
As of Monday, 105,449 migrants had arrived on Italian shores in 2023, compared to 50,759 in the same period of 2022, with Tunisia replacing Libya as the main country of departure to Italy. EFE