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Migrant landings on the rise in 2013

Syria, Eritrea, Somalia and Egypt main countries of origin

04 February, 17:36
Migrant landings on the rise in 2013 (ANSA) - Rome, February 4 - The number of migrants landing on Italian shores is on the rise, deputy Interior Minister Filippo Bubbico said Tuesday.

Some 2,157 migrants landed in Italy in January 2014 compared to 'just' 217 in the same month the previous year. Last year a total of 42,925 migrants reached Italy by sea, up 325% over 2012. Of these, 3,818 were unaccompanied children and 37,886 landed in Sicily, including 14.753 on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa. The vast majority of migrants (27,314) set off from Libya, followed by Egypt (9,215) and then Turkey (2,077).

The main country of origin based on declarations made on arrival was war-torn Syria, which accounted for 11,307 migrants compared to 582 in 2012. It was followed by Eritrea with 9,834 migrants, up more than 400% over the previous year; Somalia with 9,263 migrants and Egypt with 2,618 migrants.

The vast majority - 37,258 - reached Italy after being rescued at sea. The figures do not take into account the countless numbers of migrants who die making the perilous sea crossing to escape poverty and conflict.

In October a boat carrying African migrants to Italy sunk off the cost of Lampedusa leaving nearly 400 dead. The tragedy sparked calls for solidarity towards migrants and promises of support from Europe.