IOM says rate of refugee arrivals in Greece dwarfs 2015 pace

International Organisation for Migration says rate of refugee arrivals to Greek shores this month is 21 more times than in all of January 2015

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Greece has seen 21 times more migrants arrive on its shores so far this month than in all of January 2015

International Organisation for Migration (IOM) stated on Tuesday that the number of refugee arrivals to the Greek shores so far this month is 21 more times than in all of January 2015.

According to IOM, 31,244 refugees have arrived in Greece by sea so far this year, in comparison to 1,472 recorded arrivals to the Greek islands in January last year.

“This is a huge jump," IOM spokesman Itayi Viriri told reporters in Geneva.

"If the trend as it is now continues then certainly we're looking at another record number," he continued.

More than one million refugees braved the seas in 2015 seeking sanctuary in Europe, nearly five times more than in the previous year, according to the United Nations' refugee agency.

Although, the number of refugees who arrived in Greece has changeability, for example the number fell sharply last November, with fewer than 100,000 people recorded by the European border protection agency Frontex, which was less than half the number in October, 2015.

Greece has been sceptical to collaborate with Turkey after an EU deal was made to keep Syrian refugees in Turkey. The EU’s new concern is patrolling the sea between Greece and Turkey, where naval securities might operate without Greece’s cooperation.