World News

Migrant death toll in Mediterranean tops 1,000 for 6th year: UNHCR

GENEVA (Reuters) - More than 1,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea this year, the sixth year in a row that that “bleak milestone” has been reached, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday.

“UNHCR is urgently calling for an increase in search and rescue capacity, including a return of EU state vessels to search and rescue operations, and an acknowledgement of the crucial role of NGO boats in saving lives at sea,” UNHCR spokesman Charlie Yaxley said in a statement.

At least 15,000 people have lost their lives in Mediterranean crossings since 2014, the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by John Stonestreet