This could end up being the deadliest month in over two years
The United Nations reports at least 2,500 deaths in the first five months of 2016, up from 1,855 for the previous year.
These include 880 people who died in shipwrecks in the past week alone.
‘2016 is proving to be particularly deadly,’ said William Spindler, UN refugee agency spokesman.
By contrast, he said, 57 people died in the Med in the same period in 2014.
May 2016 is nearly the deadliest month for global migration deaths in two-and-a-half years.
As of May 30 there were 1,086 recorded deaths, making it second only to April 2015 for highest death toll.
Syrians make up the largest single nationality for those crossing the Med to Greece, at 77,387 so far this year, according to the International Organisation for Migration.
They are followed by people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Iran respectively.
Most of the people heading for Italy are coming from Africa, with a spike from Eritrea last year.
People from Nigeria make up the largest single country of origin for those crossing to Italy.
David Cameron recently called for more patrols to stop people traffickers operating in the Med.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.
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