According to the International Organization for Migration, up to 3,072 migrants died or disappeared in 2014 in the Mediterranean while trying to migrate to Europe. Overall estimates are that over 22,000 migrants died between 2000 and 2014.
In 2014, 283,532 migrants irregularly entered the European Union, mainly following the Central Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkan routes. 220,194 migrants crossed EU sea borders in the Central, Eastern and Western Mediterranean (a 266% increase compared to 2013). Half of them had come from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan.
In 2014, 170,100 migrants arrived in Italy by sea, a 296% increase compared to 2013. 141,484 of the travellers ferried from Libya. The migrants had come from Syria (42,323), Eritrea (34,329), Mali (9,908), Nigeria (9,000), Gambia (8,691), Somalia (5,756), and other areas (4,095). 64,625 applied for asylum.
Between 1 January and 3 March 2015, 7,882 migrants arrived in Italy by sea, a +40.5% increase compared to the same period in 2014. 7,257 of the travellers ferried from Libya. Most of them had come from the Horn of Africa (1,088 from Somalia, 817 from Eritrea), West Africa (969 from Gambia, 919 from Senegal, 725 from Mali, 463 from Nigeria, 282 from Ivory Coast, 173 from Guinea) and Syria (920).
As of 17 April, the total number of migrants reaching the Italian coasts is 21,191 since 1 January 2015, with a decrease during the month of March due to bad weather conditions, and a surge since 10 April, bringing the total number of arrivals in line with the number recorded in the same period in 2014. However, the death toll in the first four months of 2014 was 96, compared with 500 in the same period in 2015; this number excludes victims of the devastating shipwrecks on 13 and 19 April.