BELGRADE – The United Nations refugee agency says more than 10,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get into the European Union since 2014.
The UNHCR’s report on June 7 came as the European Union unveiled new plans to try to slow down the flow of illegal migrants from Africa.
With hundreds of people dying in recent weeks in a series of deadly Mediterranean shipwrecks, the UNHRC said the number of migrant deaths at sea has risen sharply in 2016 — reaching a total of 2,814 since the start of the year.
The UNHCR says the total number who have died trying to make the sea crossing since the start of 2014 is now confirmed to be at least 10,085.
Europe’s newly unveiled plans involve using EU funds to promote private investments of up to 60 billion euros ($68 billion) in key countries of origin for migrants — particularly Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, and Senegal.
The program also would make funds available to promote private investment in Lebanon and Jordan.