The number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Cyprus increased in January 2022, according to the first estimates for the year published by the European Border and Coast Guard (FRONTEX), the European Union's external border guard service./p>
In particular, FRONTEX states in its announcement that in the first month of 2022 a total of 850 detections were made, which is an increase of 48% compared to the same period last year.
The nationalities of immigrants and asylum seekers most recorded among arrivals in Cyprus were citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (known as the Congo-Kinshasa), Syria and Nigeria.
More generally regarding the situation on the route of the Eastern Mediterranean, which mainly concerns the borders of Greece & # 8211; Turkey, FRONTEX notes that there have been no significant changes. However, in January 2022 the number of detections increased by 28% to 1163 compared to January 2021 when 911 detections were made (303 of which at the external borders of Greece).
The most significant increase was recorded According to the data on the route of the Western Balkans where 5826 arrivals took place, 148% more than in the same period last year. The top three countries of origin for migrants and asylum seekers were Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey.
Regarding the total number of illegal crossings at the EU external borders in January, FRONTEX estimates that the number reached 13,160, increased by 78% compared to January 2021 and by 23% compared to January 2020.
The number of arrivals continues to move above pre-pandemic levels. The total number of illegal crossings for the whole of 2021 reached almost 200 thousand, the highest number since 2017.
However, pressure on the EU's eastern borders fell by almost 75%, following a sharp rise in May 2021 when arrivals more than doubled over the same period in 2020.
For other regions , on the route of the Central Mediterranean the number of arrivals reached 2150 in January, recording an increase of 107% compared to the same period in 2020.
Two out of three migrants and asylum seekers, according to FRONTEX, came from Libya and the rest from Tunisia. Most arrivals from Libya were from Egypt, Bangladesh and C Εte d'Ivoire. 67% of arrivals from Tunisia were Tunisian citizens.
The number of trackings on the Western Mediterranean route decreased by 55% to 693 in the first month of 2022 compared to January last year, according to the usual seasonal trends due to weather conditions. Nearly 60% of the people recorded on this route were Algerian nationals.
The West African route increased by 50% with 3007 detections. Half of all migrants and asylum seekers came from Morocco.
Finally, at the beginning of the year, there continued to be a significant increase in irregular migration flows from the European Union to the United Kingdom via the Channel. In January 2022, the number of sea crossings detected on exit from the EU increased by 273% compared to January 2021. More than 2,500 illegal immigrants and asylum seekers were detected on both sides of the English Channel.