People Worldwide Forced From Their Homes In Record Numbers In 2016

UNHCR  Stephen Owani

About 22.5 million people are seeking safety across global borders as refugees, which is the highest number recorded since the UNHCR's founding in 1950 following World War II.

A report from the United Nations refugee agency found 65.6 million people were displaced from their homes previous year.

That number marks a jump of just 300,000 from the end of 2015, but is more than six million higher than at the end of 2014, according to a fresh report published by the United Nations refugee agency.

Out of the 65.6 million worldwide total, 22.5 million are refugees, 40.3 million are internally displaced and 2.8 million are asylum seekers.

At the same time, a further 189,300 refugees were accepted for resettlement across 37 countries, while many others returned home.

He stated that, "How can I ask the low resources countries of Africa and Middle East to host the asylum seekers when the rich countries decline to do so?"

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Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees said, "It is an extremely moveable situation, an extremely dynamic situation, which reflects in turn conflicts that continue to affect mostly and primarily and very violently civilians".

Most of the world's refugees come from Syria, with 5.5 million forced to flee the country in 2016.

The conflict in Syria alone has displaced 12 million people overall, meaning that 65% of the country's whole population are either internally displaced or have become refugees outside the country.

South Sudan, the world´s fastest growing refugee crisis, has by now forced 1.9 million people to flee across the border.

It also illustrates the need for countries and communities supporting refugees and other displaced people to be properly resourced and supported, the absence of which can cause instability, have consequences for life-saving humanitarian work or lead to secondary displacement.

Musa Ecweru, minister for refugees, told Anadolu Agency: "We want the global community to lift the pressure and fix the damage the refugees are putting on the limited resources in the communities that host them".

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South Sudan's civil war, which began in December 2013, has left tens of thousands dead and forced a total of 3.7 million people from their homes - almost a third of the 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. Elsewhere, large numbers of refugees fled Burundi (121,700 newly recognised refugees), Iraq (81,900), Eritrea (69,600), Afghanistan (69,500), and Nigeria (64,700).

- Developing regions host 84 percent of the world's refugees.

Also in 2016, the total number of people seeking asylum globally was 2.8 million, about 400,000 fewer than in 2015. "Borders must be kept open, but we can not expect a country like Uganda to shoulder the entire bill", said Egeland.

Last year, 10.3 million people newly fled overseas or became internally displaced within their country, compared to 12.4 million a year earlier.

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