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In 2021 alone, there were over 114,000 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 2021, there were over 3,200 individuals reported dead or missing due to dangerous land and 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. Thousands lost their lives or have gone missing since 2015, and an increasing number of women and unaccompanied children continue to take perilous journeys in search of safety.

In 2021, more than 114,000 people risked their lives trying to reach Europe by sea; over 3,200 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.

European Camps and Settlements

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


In 2018, over 58,000 refugees arrived in Spain by land and sea. 

Living Situations

Of the 27,000 refugee present in Greece by the end of 2018, 57 percent live in urban areas. 


Most of the 2,700 children in Greek reception centers have missed one to four years of school due to conflict in their home countries. 


During 2018, almost 32,400 refugees were submitted by UNHCR for resettlement to 20 countries in Europe.

Other Emergencies