GENEVA, Nov. 15 (Press Shia) – More than 157,000 immigrants arrived by sea in Europe from January to the current date and 2,966 died in the attempt, said a report issued today.

According to a research carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the total immigrants that arrived in Europe by sea is almost half of that registered in the same period in 2016 (341,215 people), but the death toll continues to be worrisome.

According to IOM, 75 percent of the illegal immigrants arrived in Italy and the rest in Greece, Cyprus and Spain.

The data issued by IOM indicate that the death toll of immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea represents 59 percent of the death toll of immigrants worldwide, which totals 5,014 fatalities so far this year.

Representatives from Egypt, Algeria, Germany, France, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Austria, Slovenia, Chad, Tunisia and Switzerland signed yesterday a joint statement on these issues and the need to offer greater protection and aid to immigrants during the 3rd meeting of the Central Mediterranean Contact Group.

At the meeting, Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga reiterated that European representatives have to take on their responsibility in the economic misery of many African countries.

PL/Press Shia