These are the number of refugees who have died while crossing the Mediterranean from north Africa since 2011.

The figures, plotted by Statista, are based on data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR and are correct as of 20 April.

That means in the first four months of this year 1,500 people have drowned while seeking refuge in Europe. The Guardian reports that is at least 30 times higher than the figure from the same time in 2014.

The EU has been accused of being too slow to act on the crisis and Mare Nostrum, Italy's dedicated search and rescue mission for migrants, ended in 2014.

It was replaced in November by the EU-wide Frontex Plus mission which has significantly reduced funding and scope. Britain has also announced it will not support any future search and rescue operations.

IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing called on the world to act after another boat filled with up to 950 people sank on Sunday, saying:

All of us, especially the EU and the world’s powers can no longer sit on the sidelines watching while this tragedy unfolds in slow motion and well over 1,500 have drowned since the beginning of January.

Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen also called for a Europe wide response to the crisis, saying:

How many more will have to drown before EU governments, including the UK, wake up to their responsibilities to save lives?

Or as Daniel Trilling puts it:

More: Graphic: The deadliest place in the world to be a migrant

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)