00:31 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Refugees sleep outside the entrance of the Swedish Migration Agency's arrival center for asylum seekers at Jagersro in Malmo, Sweden, November 20, 2015

    European Bodies Count Number of Refugee Sea Arrivals Exceeds 177,000

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    The number of migrant and refugee arrivals to Europe by sea has exceeded 177,000 people since the beginning of 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM)

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — According to IOM, 177,207 people managed to reach Italy, Greece, Spain and Cyprus in 2016 via the Mediterranean Sea, including 153,362 people who arrived in Greece.

    A total of 732 migrants are estimated to have died or gone missing en route to Europe in 2016, according to IOM.

    The number of refugees has significantly decreased during the first half of April compared to the same period in March, according to the organization.

    Europe has faced an enormous influx of migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. EU border agency Frontex recorded over 1.83 million illegal border crossings into the European Union in 2015.

    In March, Brussels and Ankara agreed on a deal under which Turkey pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive in the European Union through its territory in exchange for asylum seekers from Syria, on a one-for-one basis.

    In return, the European Union pledged to provide a total of 3 billion euros (over $3.3 billion) to Turkey to help it provide for the refugees there, with a further 3 billion-euro provision possible, as well promising to accelerate Ankara's EU accession bid and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and Europe.

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    Tags:
    European Union, refugee crisis, arrival, migration, International Organization for Migration, Europe
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