While the civil war in Syria rages on, more migrants and refugees from the Middle East are continuing to enter into European countries.
According to officials of the United Nations, the number of immigrants that came to Europe by sea last month was equal to the entire amount from last year.
Estimates show that 218,394 immigrants came to Europe in October of this year. In September, an additional 172,843 arrived. By comparison a total of 219,000 immigrants were estimated to have arrived in 2014 as a whole.
On October 20th, more than 10,000 immigrants are believed to have arrived in Greece on a single day. Lately, most of these immigrants to Europe have traveled from Turkey to Greece. Another popular route involves fleeing from Libya to enter into Italy.
Most of these immigrants are Syrians, as the Syrian nationality represents about 53% of all new arrivals. Second are Afghans, representing 18% of all refugees.
Even with the influx of Syrian refugees into Europe, many fleeing Syrians are staying closer to home. Syria shares borders with the countries of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Turkey now has over 2 million Syrian refugees, while Lebanon has more than 1 million and Jordan has over 600,000.
When considering the world as a whole, 60 million people are considered to be either refugees or displaced within their own country.
According to the prediction made by the United Nations at the start of this year, 700,000 refugees were expected to enter into Europe by the end of this year. However, this estimate has already proven to be too low, as more than 744,000 refugees have arrived so far. Additionally, about 3,440 people are believed to have been killed or gone missing while making the journey.
Officials from the United Nations say that there might be even more refugees next year. Unless the situation in the Middle East can be better controlled, it is likely that more and more people will continue to flee their homes. For now, Europe is doing everything it can to manage the situation. Still, that’s easier said than done.
According to the Greek Coast Guard, a boat that was carrying refugees recently sank near the Greek island of Farmakonisi on Monday. In the incident, four refugees drowned and another six are missing.