MSF and Greenpeace Launch Life Saving Operations in the Aegean Sea 14 Dec, 2015 © Will Rose / MSF / Greenpeace

Credit: Greenpeace

Although the number of arrivals has declined since the autumn months, in December more than 100,000 people still made the crossing to the Greek islands, daring the winter seas and stormy weather in overcrowded, flimsy boats.

As war and violence rage unabated in their countries of origin, there is undiminished need for a safe haven. More than 3,700 have died while trying to cross the sea to Europe this year. More than a million have arrived by sea.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR has warned, however, for continued mass arrivals in 2016. MSF and Greenpeace remain operational in the Aegean Sea, doing whatever we can to assist refugee boats in distress.

We also urge our supporters to share the peace sign image in honour of the refugees and migrants and as a way of thanks to the volunteers and local communities on Lesbos working to ensure that 2016 can start with a safe passage.