Over 10,000 migrants have died since 2014 in their perilous crossings of the Mediterranean sea to Europe, the United Nations has said.
The UNHCR says there has been a sharp increase in the number of migrant deaths recorded so far in 2016.
2,814 migrants according to the UN body, have died since the start of the year. This is against a total migrant deaths of 3,771 recorded in 2015 and 3,500 recorded in 2014.
This brings the total number of migrant deaths to 10,085 in less than two-and-a-half years.
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“You’ve now had since the start of 2014 — when this phenomenon of rising numbers across the Mediterranean happened — 10,000 deaths. That threshold has been crossed just in the last few days,” UN refugee agency spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters.
“This is clearly an appalling number of deaths that have occurred in the Mediterranean, on Europe’s borders just in the past couple of years,” Edwards added.
Describing the development as an “extremely worrying dynamic,” Edwards repeated calls for finding “viable alternative and regular means of dealing with these movements”.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says the migrant death toll so far this year is nearly a thousand above the 1,838 deaths recorded in the first half of 2015.
Meanwhile, a total of 206,400 refugees and migrants had arrived in Europe as at Monday, since the start of the year, and have landed mainly in Greece and Italy, the IOM said.