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IOM 'deeply concerned' by number of dead, missing migrants heading for Canary Islands

Migrants sit on a pier of the port of Los Cristianos as they are assisted by emergency personnel upon their rescue off the coast of the Canary island of Tenerife on March 26, 2021 [DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images]
Migrants sit on a pier of the port of Los Cristianos as they are assisted by emergency personnel upon their rescue off the coast of the Canary island of Tenerife on March 26, 2021 [DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images]

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said it was extremely concerned about the sharp increase in the deaths and disappearances at sea of migrants trying to reach the Canary Islands along the West African coast.

In a report issued last week, the organisation said by the end of August, its Missing Migrants Project recorded 785 people, including 177 women and 50 children, who had died or disappeared so far this year while heading for the Canaries.

According to the report, August was the deadliest month in terms of documented fatalities with 379 lives lost, almost half the total number of deaths recorded in 2021.

The report quoted Frank Laczko, director of IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, as saying that "invisible shipwrecks, in which there are no survivors, are believed to be frequent occurrences on this route but are nearly impossible to verify".

READ: 344 migrants rescued off Morocco coast

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