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UNHCR released Global Trends: World at War report on forced displacement

Jun 19, 2015 14:00 IST

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on 18 June 2015 released a report titled Global Trends: World at War. It delineates worldwide trends in forced displacement by the end of 2014.

The report declared that ongoing refugee crisis due to wars, conflicts and persecution is the worst in recorded history and over half of the world's refugees are children.

Highlights of Global Trends: World at War report

• The number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to a staggering 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million by 2013 and 37.5 million by 2005.
• The increase represents the biggest leap ever seen in a single year and the situation is likely to worsen in future.

• Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. If this were the population of a country, it would be the world's 24th biggest.
• Since early 2011, the main reason for the acceleration has been the war in Syria, now the world's single-largest driver of displacement.
Every day in 2014, on average 42500 people became refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced, a four-fold increase in just four years.
• In the past five years, at least 15 conflicts have erupted or reignited: eight in Africa (Côte d'Ivoire, Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, northeastern Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Burundi); three in the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, and Yemen); one in Europe (Ukraine) and three in Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Pakistan).
• In 2014, only 126800 refugees were able to return to their home countries -- the lowest number in 31 years.
• There has been dramatic growth in the numbers of refugees seeking safety through dangerous sea journeys, including on the Mediterranean, in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, and in Southeast Asia.
• In 2014 alone 13.9 million people became newly displaced – four times the number of the previous year.
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.
Almost nine out of every 10 refugees (86 per cent) are in regions and countries considered economically less developed.
• Forced displacement numbers in Europe totaled 6.7 million at the end of the year, compared to 4.4 million at the end of 2013, and with the largest proportion of this being Syrians in Turkey and Ukrainians in the Russian Federation.
• Syria's ongoing war, with 7.6 million people displaced internally, and 3.88 million people displaced into the surrounding region and beyond as refugees, has alone made the Middle East the world's largest producer and host of forced displacement.
Sub-Saharan Africa saw 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 number of refugees and internally displaced people in Asia grew by 31 per cent in 2014 to 9 million people.

• Continuing displacement was also seen in and from Myanmar in 2014, including of Rohingya from Rakhine state and in the Kachin and Northern Shan regions.
Iran and Pakistan remained two of the world's top four refugee hosting countries.
• In Americas, the number of Colombian refugees dropped by 36300 to 360300 in 2014.
• With more people fleeing gang violence or other forms of persecution in Central America, the United States saw 36800 more asylum claims than in 2013, representing growth of 44 per cent.

India as a country of origin had 10433 refugees and 16709 asylum seekers with pending cases in 2014; and 199937 refugees and 5074 pending cases of asylum seekers as country of asylum for 2014.

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