EMERGENCIES

Refugee Crisis in Europe

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Over 27,000 sea arrivals

In 2019 alone, there have already been 27,301 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. 

584 reported missing or dead

In 2019, there have already been 584 individuals reported dead or missing due to dangerous land and sea journeys. 

Background

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 will be their last. Thousands have 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 2018, more than 138,000 people risked their lives trying to reach Europe by sea; more than 2,000 of them drowned.

Voices of the Crisis

VIDEO

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

Stories from the Europe crisis

Six people died each day attempting to cross Mediterranean in 2018

USA for UNHCR supporters make a lifesaving difference to refugees fleeing to Europe

See all stories about the refugee crisis 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. 
  • 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.
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