UNHCR expects 700,000 refugees in Europe by end of 2015

UN refugee agency expects 700,000 refugees to cross into Europe through Mediterranean this year, at least same amount in 2016

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A refugee swims next to an overcrowded dinghy packed with refugees near the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos, while crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from the Turkish coast, September 30, 2015

The UNHCR said on Thursday that it expects 700,000 refugees to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean by the end of 2015, and at least the same amount of refugees in 2016.

The previous estimate declared on September 8 was 400,000 for this year and 450,000 for 2016, but that number has passed half a million before the end of month.

The agency said it assumes “up to 700,000 people will seek safety and international protection in Europe in 2015, and possibly even higher numbers in 2016.”

UNHCR revised the total financial requirements from June 2015 to December 2016 to USD 128 million in its press release, and said it is “appealing to donors to provide contributions that can be allocated as flexibly as possible.”

The numbers show that the agency doesn’t expect a decrease in the refugee influx.

Around 3,000 people lost their lives or disappeared in the Mediterranean this year, while they were trying to reach Europe.

More than half of the refugees are Syrians escaping the civil war, rest are refugees from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Iraq and other nationalities escaping conflict or poverty.

Over 4 million Syrians fled their country since the civil war began in 2011 and another 7.6 million are displaced inside the country.

The agency has recorded 219,000 refugees who came to Europe by sea in 2014.



TRTWorld and agencies