Frontex says over 710,000 refugees cross into EU in 2015

Frontex reports at least 170,000 refugees crossed into European Union in September, bringing total number for this year to 710,000

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Refugees arrive on a dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean Sea

The Warsaw based EU border agency Frontex published a statement on its website on Tuesday saying that “the total number of migrants who crossed the EU’s external borders in the first nine months of this year rose to more than 710,000.”

According to the statement, last year a total of 282,000 refugees entered the European Union.

It said that the Greek islands on the Aegean are the most affected by the huge inflow of refugees, as more than 350,000 people, mostly from Syria reached Greece in last nine months of whom 49,000 reached in last month alone.

On the other hand, at least 129,000 refugees mostly from Eritrea arrived to Italy during the same time period.

The number of refugees attempting to arrive to Italy is less than the number of refugees arriving to Greece, since the boats departing from Libyan coasts to Italy were affected by bad weather conditions, causing deaths to thousands.

Refugees arrive on an overcrowded dinghy as locals stand at a church on the Greek island of Lesbos

Meanwhile, the executive director of Frontex refugee agency Fabrice Leggeri said that "urgent assistance is needed, especially for Greece and Italy, to help register and identify the new arrivals."

"I do hope we receive adequate contributions which will show the true spirit of European solidarity."

European leaders are scheduled to hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss their response over the growing refugee crisis.

Among the topics on the table, sending aid to the countries hosting refugees like Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey and the creation of an EU border and coast guard are expected to precede the meeting.

According to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan have taken almost 4 million Syrian refugees since the Syrian civil war began in 2011.

TRTWorld and agencies