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October's migrant flow to Europe roughly matched whole of 2014

Monday, November 02, 2015 - 01:51

The United Nations refugee agency says the number of migrants and refugees entering Europe last month was roughly the same as that for all of 2014. Nathan Frandino reports.

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With migrants and refugees lined up at borders across Europe, hope for a solution remains dim and now new numbers from the United Nations show a migration pattern that refuses to slow down. Refugee agency UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards says a little more than 218,000 arrived last month, breaking the previous monthly record and nearly matching last year's total of 219,000. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR SPOKESMAN, ADRIAN EDWARDS, SAYING: "So it's an enormous number of people that's producing enormous pressures on places where people are arriving. The Greek islands in particular are seeing particular strain. On the 20th of October, we have had more than 10,000 people in a single day. These, arriving on islands where there simply hasn't been the capacity to deal with those kind of figures, so a really overwhelming situation." The vast majority of refugees and migrants have traveled via Turkey to Greece. UNHCR had said in October that Europe was planning for up to 700,000 refugees this year, but that number has already been eclipsed. Edwards say he expects this level of arrivals to continue into 2016. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR SPOKESMAN, ADRIAN EDWARDS, SAYING: "And that's because the factors that are causing people to move aren't going away. We are in a period of record numbers of forced displacement globally -- almost 60 million people fleeing conflict, fleeing areas of instability. It is the new reality that we all have to deal with. This is a phenomenon that isn't going away quickly." Experts expect that as winter approaches, fewer people will attempt the journey, though boats filled with refugees and migrants continue to arrive.

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October's migrant flow to Europe roughly matched whole of 2014

Monday, November 02, 2015 - 01:51