UN agency: 2022 was one of deadliest for migrants in Mideast, North Africa

un-agency:-2022-was-one-of-deadliest-for-migrants-in-mideast,-north-africa

CAIRO (AP) — The previous year proved to be the deadliest for migrants in the Middle East and North Africa since 2017, as per the United Nations’ announcement on Tuesday. The International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project released data indicating that approximately 3,800 individuals perished on migrants’ sea and land routes within and from the region. This figure represents an 11% surge compared to the 3,428 deaths recorded in 2021 and is the highest since 2017, when the project documented the demise of 4,255 individuals in the region. Othman Belbeisi, IOM’s director for the MENA region, stated, “This alarming death toll on migration routes within and from the MENA region demands immediate attention and concerted efforts to enhance the safety and protection of migrants.”

The data revealed that the region accounted for over half of the 6,877 deaths documented by the project worldwide. However, the project stated that the actual number is likely much higher than the 3,789 documented fatalities due to the scarcity of official data and limited access to land routes in the region for civil society and international organizations. The IOM’s project documented over 1,025 deaths on the region’s land routes, while the rest occurred on sea routes to Europe, particularly in the East Mediterranean, which is one of the deadliest in the world.

The figures showed that most deaths on land took place in war-torn Yemen, where the IOM says “targeted violence against migrants has intensified.” The IOM’s project stated that at least 795 individuals, mostly Ethiopians, lost their lives on a route between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Most of the deaths occurred in Yemen’s northern province of Saada, a stronghold for the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. East African migrants used to cross the Bab-Al Mandab, the 31-mile (50-kilometer) strait separating Djibouti and Yemen, on small boats, aiming to cross Yemen into neighboring Saudi Arabia and then move on to other wealthy Arab Gulf states in search of work.

The data showed that Libya, which has become a transit point for Europe-bound migrants who fled wars and poverty in the Middle East and Africa in recent years, recorded 117 deaths on land routes, followed by 54 fatalities in neighboring Algeria. The IOM’s report highlighted an increasing number of attempts at sea crossings from Lebanon to Greece, with at least 174 people reportedly dying last year.

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Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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