At least 2,300 deaths in Mediterranean this year - IOM

From EU 32.74 million of aid for Athens, says Avramopoulos

14 August, 19:09

    Immigrants evacuated from the island of Kos, in the eastern Aegean, Greece Immigrants evacuated from the island of Kos, in the eastern Aegean, Greece

    GENEVA - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Friday that "at least 2,300" people have died this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa to reach Europe. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Friday that "at least 2,300" people have died this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa to reach Europe. It added that over 250,000 asylum seekers have landed in Europe this year, more than the number for the whole of 2014.

    The organization adds that the sea route to Sicily, taken by many migrants leaving from North Africa, is "the deadliest".

    BRUSSELS - About 32.74 million euros of aid will soon arrive in Athens from Brussels to cope with the refugee crisis, said EU immigration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos on Friday. A first disbursement of 30 million euros will take place as soon as the Tsipras government makes the aid management authority operative. To this will be added an allocation of 2.74 million euros in emergency funds (which the European Commission is working on) to support UNHCR in giving arrival and reception aid to immigrants on the islands. Greece will trigger the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism for providing immediate humanitarian assistance to immigrants in the Eastern Aegean Islands, Avramopoulos said, speaking about the aid plan agreed to yesterday with the Greek authorities for handling the high influx of immigrants. "I invite all member States to respond rapidly to this request and to show solidarity," said Avramopoulos. EU member states need to offer funding to Frontex for its Poseidon sea patrol operation in Greece, "just like they committed to during the EU leader summit", added Avramopoulos.

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