Death in the MediterraneanAccording to Fortress Europe, 1,931 immigrants have lost their lives in the mediterranean sea during the first 7 months of 2011, and 1,674 of them (87%) died in the Sicilian Channel.
Since the beginning of the year, about 25,000 people have arrived in Italy from Tunisia and an equal number from Libya. According to official data (August 1, 2011) 1,674 immigrants lost their lives trying to reach Italy – of these 1,674 deaths only 188 drowned on the Tunisian route. On the Libyan route instead the number of deaths is 1,486. It is as if one out of 130 die on the Tunisian route, while one out of every 17 on the Libyan route. Eight times more.
Last year the number of immigrants drowned in the Sicilian Channel was just 20. In 2009, there were 425 dead immigrants. Since 1994, 5.962 immigrants have lost their lives in the Sicilian Channel. It is obvious that the mortality rate in the crossings has increased in an apparently inexplicable way.
The UNHCR estimates that more than 2,000 people are missing at sea since February.
Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Libya since the crisis began in February 2011. As of June 14, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), one million refugees had left the country ; more than 500,000 heading to Tunisia, more than 300,000 to Egypt and 70,000 to Niger.
Death in AfricaThe UN estimates that tens of thousands of people have died from malnutrition in Somalia in recent months, and over 11 million people across East Africa need food aid because of a long-running drought. In the past two months some 220,000 people have fled toward the Somali capital of Mogadishu and across the borders to Kenya and Ethiopia, where refugee camps are straining under the pressure of new arrivals. Almost 1 million people are displaced elsewhere in Somalia, the U.N. estimates.
Poor countries pick up the burdenAccording to UNHCR, an estimated 43.7 million people are currently displaced worldwide. In Europe, there were 1.6 million refugees at the end of 2010, down some 40,700 from a year before. An estimated 80 per cent of the world’s refugees now live in developing countries and yet anti-refugee sentiment is growing in many industrialized nations, the United Nations said in a report unveiled on June 20, 2011.
If you compare the 1.6 million refugees that try to survive in whole Europe with the 1.9 million of refugees just in Pakistan, the 1.1 million of refugees in Iran, the 1 million refugees in Syria, the 403,000 in Kenya, the 348,000 in Chad (all 2010 data, before the events in Libya or the famine in East Africa), or this years’ 500,000 Libyan refugees in Tunisia and the more than 300,000 to Egypt, you might understand the “inexplicable increase of mortality rate in the Mediterranean”…