MOSCOW (Sputnik) — More than 260,000 migrants have arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of 2016, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.
"IOM reports that 263,636 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 7 August, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy," the statement reads, adding that Italy alone saw 24,000 migrants and refugee in July.
The migration agency recalled that 1,241 migrants were rescued in the Channel of Sicily since last Friday.
Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their crisis-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa to escape violence and poverty. The majority of them cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in the European Union using southern EU nations as transit points.