Globally, 68.5mn people forcibly displaced from their home, says UN
A record 68.5mn people have been forced to flee their homes due to war, violence, and persecution, notably in places like Myanmar and Syria, a report released by UN refugee agency in Geneva said. By 2017-end, the number was nearly 3mn higher than the previous year and showed a 50% increase from the 42.7mn uprooted from their homes a decade ago. Here's more.
The current figure is equivalent to Thailand's entire population, and displaced people equates to one in every 110 persons worldwide, UN said. UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, pointed out that 70% of forcibly displaced people are from just 10 countries. "If there were solutions to conflicts in those 10 countries then the figure instead of rising...could start going down," Grandi said
The report showed that 16.2mn people were freshly displaced last year. This equates to some 44,500 people being pushed out of their homes every day, UNHCR said. Most people flee within their own country and are defined as internally displaced people (IDPs). By 2017-end, there were some 40mn IDPs worldwide, with Colombia, Syria, and Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for the greatest numbers.
Another 25.4mn people were registered as refugees last year, which is nearly 3mn more than in 2016, and "the highest known total to date," UN said. Syria's seven-year conflict had pushed over 6.3mn people out of the country, accounting for nearly one-third of the global refugee population. Another 6.2mn Syrians are internally displaced. The second largest refugee-producing country in 2017 was Afghanistan at 2.6mn.
South Sudan's refugees increased to 2.4mn by the end of 2017. Meanwhile, Myanmar's refugees more than doubled to 1.2mn, as a brutal army crackdown forced thousands of Rohingya Muslims to pour across the border into Bangladesh. The report highlighted large-scale displacements in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and others. Also, around 5.4mn Palestinians are still living as refugees in Israel. Turkey hosts maximum refugees at 3.5mn.