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In 2022 alone, there were over 159,000 sea arrivals in Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Malta.

40% of sea arrivals are women and children

40 percent of individuals arriving to Europe by sea in 2019 are women and children.


In 2022, more than 2,400 individuals were reported dead or missing due to dangerous sea journeys.

About the Crisis in Europe

By the end of 2016, nearly 5.2 million refugees and migrants reached European shores, undertaking treacherous journeys from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries torn apart by war and persecution.

For some, this desperate journey was their last, and for others it continues to be a last resort to ensure safety for them and their families. Thousands lost their lives or have gone missing since 2016, and an increasing number of women and unaccompanied children continue to take perilous journeys in search of safety.

In 2022, more than 159,000 people risked their lives trying to reach Europe by sea; more than 2,400 of them are dead or missing.

Voices of the Crisis


Desperate Journeys: Spain now main route to Europe for refugees and migrants (2:46)

How to Help

UNHCR is on the ground, with over 600 staff in 20 different locations working to protect refugees and provide lifesaving assistance such as shelter, food, water and medical care to refugees who arrived in Europe.

More Facts About the Crisis in Europe

An Afghan boy spells out the alphabet at a refugee camp in Greece.

Learn More

  • By mid-year 2023, there were 89,100 estimated arrivals via the Mediterranean and Northwest African maritime routes.
  • Compared to the same period last year, there was a 75 percent increase in arrivals at the end of June 2023. 
  • By mid-year 2023, 2,149 people were estimated to be dead or missing at sea. 

Other Emergencies