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UNHCR Report Says 60 Million Uprooted From Their Homes

A new United Nations Refugee report says worldwide displacement from wars, conflict, and persecution is at the highest levels recorded, and accelerating fast.
18 Jun 2015 14:46
Cameroon/ Minawao refugee camp / UNHCR High Commissioner Antonio Guterres meets with Mariam, a Nigerian refugee who escaped an attack on her village and is now safe in Minawao camp, in Cameroon’s Far North Region.

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A new United Nations Refugee report says worldwide displacement from wars, conflict, and persecution is at the highest levels recorded, and accelerating fast.

The United Nations High Commission For Refugees new global trends report shows a sharp escalation in the number of people forced to flee their homes.

It says close to sixty million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 compared to 51.2 million in 2013 compared to 37.5 million people ten years ago.

The report released ahead World Refugee Day marked on June 20th says the increase since 2013 was the highest ever seen in a single year. The main acceleration has been since early 2011 when war erupted in Syria.

In 2014, an average of 42,500 people became refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced every day, representing a four-fold increase in just four years.

Worldwide, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. Were this population of a country, it would be the world\'s 24th biggest according the report.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres while releasing the report said  is terrifying that on the one hand there is more and more impunity for those starting conflicts, and on the other there is seeming utter inability of the international community to work together to stop wars and build and preserve peace.

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The report shows that in region after region, the number of refugees and internally displaced people is on the rise.

In the past five years, at least 15 conflicts have erupted or reignited: Eight in Africa\'s Côte d\'Ivoire, Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, northeastern Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and this year in Burundi.

The Middle East has had three conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen while Europe one conflict in Ukraine and three in Asia.

Few of these crises have been resolved and most still generate new displacement. In 2014 just 126,800 refugees were able to return to their home countries, the lowest number in 31 years.

Global Trends report shows that in 2014 alone 13.9 million became newly displaced – four times the number in 2010.

Worldwide there were 19.5 million refugees (up from 16.7 million in 2013), 38.2 million were displaced inside their own countries (up from 33.3 million in 2013), and 1.8 million people were awaiting the outcome of claims for asylum (against 1.2 million in 2013).

António Guterres says with huge shortages of funding and wide gaps in the global regime for protecting victims of war, people in need of compassion, aid and refuge are being abandoned.

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Syria is the world\'s biggest producer of both internally displaced people (7.6 million) and refugees (3.88 million at the end of 2014).

Afghanistan (2.59 million) and Somalia (1.1 million) are the next biggest refugee source countries.

Often-overlooked, Africa\'s numerous conflicts, in Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere, together produced immense forced displacement totals in 2014, on a scale only marginally lower than in the Middle East.

In all, sub-Saharan Africa had 3.7 million refugees and 11.4 million internally displaced people, 4.5 million of whom were newly displaced in 2014.

Ethiopia replaced Kenya as the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and the fifth largest worldwide.

The full Global Trends report with this information and more, and including data on individual countries, demographics, numbers of people returning to their countries, and available estimates of stateless population is available at http://www.unhcr.org/2014trends.