Author: reliefweb.int | 22 July 2019
A total of 30,931 migrants and refugees arrived in Europe through different land and sea routes between January and May 2019, 31 per cent less than in the same period last year, when some 44,924 sea and land arrivals were reported, 60 per cent less than the 77,188 arrivals registered in 2017 and 85 per cent less than the 212, 981 registered between January and May 2016. More than a half (59%) of all arrivals were registered in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Greece, indicating that the Eastern Mediterranean route continues to be the main route taken by the migrants and refugees arriving to Europe between January and May 2019. Authorities in the Western Balkans, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Montenegro, have observed a significant increase in arrivals in 2019 and have registered a total of 11,461 migrants and refugees as of May 2019. This is 40 per cent more than the 8,242 registered in 2018 in all three coutnries and nineteen times the 578 registered between January and May 2017. Based on available data, some 13,300 migrants, asylum seekers and refugees were residing in reception centers and privately arranged accommodation in Western Balkans at the end of May, while Greece hosted more than 68,700 migrants and refugees and additional 112,906 were registered in the reception facilities across Italy.