Aid Agencies: 2016 Sets New Record of More Than 5,000 Migrants Drowned in Mediterranean

Aid agencies reported that a record of over 5,000 migrants have drowned at sea this year while trying to reach Europe.

This number is an “alarming increase” from 2015 when the Mediterranean became the grave yard for 3,800 migrants, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR reported.

The aid agencies cited weather, the smuggling tactics of those orchestrating trips, and the ships carrying migrants crossing the Mediterranean as attributing to the increase in lives lost.

UNHCR has appealed to the EU states to consider more legal ways for the migrants to enter Europe by suggesting more resettlement programs, private sponsorship, family reunification and student scholarships “so they do not have to resort to dangerous journeys and the use of smugglers,” UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said to Reuters.