The Guardian reports: More than 100,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe so far this year, at triple the rate of arrivals over the first half of 2015.
At least 102,500 have arrived on the Greek islands of Samos, Kos and Lesbos, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Another 7,500 have reached Italy, and in the first six weeks of the year 411 people are known to have died attempting to make the journey.
In 2015 the threshold of 100,000 arrivals was not reached until the end of June. As spring approaches and the weather improves, the rate of arrivals this year is expected to climb further.
The IOM said 20% of the arrivals were from Afghanistan and nearly half were Syrians. On Monday the US and Russia agreed to organise a partial truce involving the Assad regime and most of the Syrian armed opposition, but not Islamic State or the Nusra Front. There are widespread doubts about how effective the ceasefire will be and how long it will last. [Continue reading…]