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Global refugee population hits record 65 million – crisis worse than WWII

Global refugee population hits record 65 million – crisis worse than WWII

UNHCR Global Trends report finds 65.3 million people, or one person in 113, were displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution in 2015

The number of people displaced worldwide has hit a new record, with 65.3 million people forced from their home as of the end of 2015, the UN said.

“This is the first time that the threshold of 60 million has been crossed,” the UN refugee agency said, underscoring on the unprecedented global displacement crisis.

In its annual report to mark World Refugee Day, the UN said it was the first time the number of refugees worldwide had passed the 60 million mark.

The year 2014, had already seen the highest number of refugees worldwide since World War II, with 60 million displaced people. But 2015 — the year when Europe witnessed influx of large numbers of migrants — topped that record by nearly 10 percent, the UNHCR said Monday in unveiling its annual Global Trends Report.

The study found that three countries produce half the world’s refugees. Syria at 4.9 million, Afghanistan at 2.7 million and Somalia at 1.1 million together accounted for more than half the refugees under UNHCR’s mandate worldwide. Colombia at 6.9 million, Syria at 6.6 million and Iraq at 4.4 million had the largest numbers of internally displaced people.

“If these 65.3 million persons were a nation, they would make up the 21st largest in the world,” the U.N. report said. That’s a 55 percent rise in just four years, largely driven by the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan.

Record 65.3 million people displaced, UNHCR report says

U.N. Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has urged world leaders to do more to end the wars that are fanning the exodus of people from their homelands.

“I hope that the message carried by those forcibly displaced reaches the leaderships: We need action, political action, to stop conflicts,” said Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. “The message that they have carried is: ‘If you don’t solve problems, problems will come to you.”

Grandi decried the actions of some European countries for installing physical barriers like border fences and passing legislative restrictions which limited refugee access to richer, more peaceful European nations. But such policies in Europe were “spreading a negative example around the world”, he said.

There is no plan B for Europe in the long run,” Grandi said. “Europe will continue to receive people seeking asylum. Their numbers may vary … but it is inevitable.” “Everybody has to share responsibility now,” he urged.

24 people displaced every minute worldwide: UNHCR

The rate of displacement was provided in stark detail. The UN said that 24 people worldwide were displaced from their homes every minute of every day in 2015, or around 34,000 people per day. In 2005, it was six people per minute.

With 24 people being displaced every minute and the threshold of 60 million crossed for the first time, the number of forcibly displaced people across the world is now greater than the entire population of the UK.

Every minute 24 people re displaced worldwide: UNHCR

Turkey was the “top host” country for the second year running, taking in 2.5 million people – nearly all from neighboring Syria. Afghan neighbor Pakistan had 1.6 million, while Lebanon, next to Syria, hosted 1.1 million.

One in every 113 people in world is displaced or a refugee

A record 65 million men, women and children were forced from their homes by war and persecution last year, leaving one in every 113 people a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum at the end of 2015, according to the UN.

Global displacement has roughly doubled since 1997 – and risen by 50 percent since 2011 when the Syrian conflict began.

“The number (of displaced people globally) in the last year has gone up by 10 percent. We are now at 65 million people,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi told media.

“Two thirds are internally displaced people, the most difficult to reach, one third are refugees, 90 percent are in middle income countries or in poor countries, 50 percent of the refugees are children.”

One in every 113 people in world is displaced or a refugee: UN

European refugee crisis in numbers

1.26 million

The number of people applying for asylum in the EU. More than a million arrived in Europe via illegal routes in 2015

29 per cent

Proportion of Syrians who were first time asylum seekers in the EU in 2015

4 million

The number of Syrian refugees outside of Syria in countries like Turkey and Lebanon

Up to 7 million

The number of Syrians internally displaced

50,000

The number of refugees and migrants believed to be in Greece

100,000

Illegal migrants were stopped from entering Britain by UK Border Force officials in 2015

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