Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Record 65.6 million people displaced worldwide

Record 65.6 million people displaced worldwide

South Sudan's internal conflict, which broke out at the end of 2013, has claimed thousands of lives and driven well over a million of people from their homes, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

But UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said it was still a disheartening failure of global diplomacy.

"By any measure this is an unacceptable number, and it speaks louder than ever to the need for solidarity and common goal in preventing and resolving crises, and ensuring together that the world's refugees, internally displaced and asylum seekers are properly protected and cared for while solutions are pursued", said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

Syria alone has sent more than 5.5 million people seeking safety in other countries, including 825,000 just a year ago, making it the world's biggest producer of refugees.

Of the record 65.6 million people forcibly displaced 22.5 million were refugees, 40.3 million were uprooted within their countries and 2.8 million asylum seekers and over half come from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan.

Globally, Syrians still represent the largest forcibly displaced population with 12 million refugees or internally displaced - some 65 percent of the population - by the end of 2016.

In Syria, a six-year civil war has ravaged the country, forcing almost two-thirds of its population to flee, according to the report.

Grandi said the worldwide community had become frustrated with the way peace was moving, adding that this was the time when aid needed to be increased.

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Leaving aside the long-standing Palestinian refugee situation, Colombians (7.7 million) and Afghans (4.7 million) remained the second and third biggest population, followed by Iraqis (4.2 million) and South Sudanese (the world's fastest growing displaced population with 3.3 million having fled their homes by the end of the year).

UNHCR was still there, helping numerous same people now fleeing an internal conflict, he told local government officials in the northern town of Bentiu.

Turkey, for the third consecutive year, has hosted the largest number of refugees worldwide, a new United Nations report has said.

The UN refugee chief also voiced alarm over the rapidly deteriorating situation in South Sudan, which he said was now the world's "fastest growing refugee crisis and displacement crisis".

- Some 189,300 refugees were accepted for resettlement by 37 countries.

Grandi also warned of the burden being placed on numerous world's poorest states, as some 84 per cent of the world's displaced people are living in poor and middle income countries, the BBC reported.

- Children under 18 make up just over half the refugee population.

The report showed despite huge focus on Europe's refugee crisis, it is the poorer countries that host most of the world's refugees.

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