BRUSSELS, July 13 : In the first half of this year, the number of illegal border crossings at Europe’s external borders fell by nearly a one-fifth from a year ago to 36, 400, mainly because of the effects of the COVID pandemic.
The drop was especially pronounced on the Western and Eastern Mediterranean migratory routes, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, said in a press release Monday.
In the Western Balkans route in the first half of this year, almost 9,300 migrants were detected at EU’s border in the region, 73% more than in the first six months of 2019. Two of every three migrants detected in the region so far this year were Syrian, while Afghans accounted for 17% of the border crossings.
In the Eastern Mediterranean route, in the first six months, the total number of detections fell by nearly half to around 11, 900. Nationals of Afghanistan and Syria accounted for the largest number of detected migrants.
The number of migrants reaching Europe using the Central Mediterranean route in June fell by nearly 50% to slightly more than 900.
But in the first half of this year, the total for this region reached close to 7, 200, which is double the figure from the same period of 2019. Tunisians and Bangladeshis made up the largest portion of the detections in the Central Mediterranean.
In the Western Mediterranean route, the total for the first six months of 2020 halved to 4,500, with Algerians accounting for one out of every two arrivals. Moroccans were the second most represented nationality on this route.(KUNA)