“The chances of dying on the Libya to Italy route are ten times higher than when crossing from Turkey to Greece,” a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), William Spindler, told a media briefing at the UN Office in Geneva today.The chances of dying on the Libya to Italy route are ten times higher than when crossing from Turkey to GreeceAccording to UNHCR, the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece has dropped dramatically, from over 67,000 in January 2016 to 3,437 in August 2016, following the closure of the so-called Balkan route and the implementation of the European Union-Turkey Statement, an agreement on methods to end the irregular migration from Turkey to the EU and replace it instead with legal channels of resettlement.The number of arrivals to Italy, meanwhile, has remained more or less constant, with some 115,000 refugees and migrants landing in Italy as of the end of August this year, compared to 116,000 during the same period last year. “The main change, however, has been the number of casualties,” Mr. Spindler said. “So far this year, one person has died for every 42 crossing from North Africa to Italy, compared to one in every 52 last year – this makes 2016 to date the deadliest year on record in the Central Mediterranean.” ‹ › “The arrival of over a million refugees and migrants to Europe last year has also given rise to hostility and tensions within the societies hosting them, “ Mr. Spindler highlighted. “The ongoing challenge for Europe is to make available the support and services that refugees need to successfully integrate so that they can contribute fully to society – bringing new skills, determination and a cultural richness, as they seek to re-establish their lives in their new homes.” He added that, in this regard, UNHCR strongly urges governments and their national partners to commit to the development and implementation of comprehensive national integration plans, and calls for a clear commitment to the prevention of discrimination, the promotion of inclusion and the combatting of racism and xenophobia. 12-year-old Sagga from Eritrea 12-year-old Sagga, from Eritrea, sits with other adolescent boys and men in a crowded cell, at the Zawiya detention centre near Tripoli, the capital. Sagga, together with two friends, left his homeland in the hopes of finding work in Europe to support his family and have a better life. Their journey to Libya took 10 months. He has an uncle in Italy and plans to seek asylum there and attend school. UNICEF/ Romenzi Death and missing key figures Eastern Mediterranean route Death and missing key figures. Data January 2015 – August 2016. Graphic: UNHCR Eastern Mediterranean route. Data January 2015 – August 2016. Graphic: UNHCR Ifeyimwa, 8 months pregnant, from Nigeria Ifeyimwa, who is 8 months pregnant, sits on a cot in a cell at Sikka Police Station in Tripoli, the capital. Ifeyimwa, who is from Nigeria, says that she has been living in Libya and has been working as cleaner since 2012. She, her husband, and 20 other Nigerians , have been arrested and accused of being illegal immigrants.UNICEF/ Romenzi Number of death and missing by route Alguaiha detention centre Men eat together in the crowded yard at the Alguaiha detention centre in the coastal town of Garabulli on the north-western coast. Despite the dangers, many migrants are willing to take the risk to reach Europe. Libya continues to be the main transit and departure point for irregular sea migration to Europe. Foreigners without legal immigration status in the country can be arrested and can spend up to 12 months in a detention centre. UNICEF/ Romenzi Number of death and missing by route. Data January 2015 – August 2016. Graphic: UNHCR Central Mediterranean route Central Mediterranean route. Data January 2015 – August 2016. Graphic: UNHCR It is one year since the publication of the iconic photograph of Alan Kurdi, a dead Syrian toddler on a Turkish beach. Although that photograph sparked outrage across the world about the plight of refugees and migrants, large numbers of people have continued to die, or gone missing on the Mediterranean.Overall, during the first eight months of 2016, some 281,740 people have made the sea crossing to Europe, with UNHCR estimating that some 4,176 people have died or gone missing on the Mediterranean since this time last year – an average of 11 men, women and children perishing every day over the last 12 months. In his remarks, Mr. Spindler noted that it was also one year since the drowning of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi while attempting to enter Europe via the Turkey-Greece route with his family – an image of his corpse had led to strong international outcry over the circumstances of people seeking refuge in Europe. “The death of Alan Kurdi resulted in unprecedented expressions of sympathy and solidarity for refugees all over Europe, with many people volunteering to help and spontaneously giving food, water and clothes to refugees and even offering to take them into their homes,” the spokesperson said, adding that to document and highlight some of these individual acts of solidarity, UNHCR had produced a series of portraits of families hosting refugees in Austria, Germany and Sweden.