Monday June 20, 2016 – The U.N.’s refugee agency reports that the number of displaced people is at its highest ever — surpassing even post-World War II numbers, when the world was struggling to come to terms with the most devastating event in history.
The total at the end of 2015 reached 65.3 million — or one out of every 113 people on Earth, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The number represents a 5.8 million increase on the year before.
A little under 1% of the earth’s population is either “an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee” according to the UNHCR report, which was released Monday.
The report offers three main reasons for the increase in the rate of forced displacements:
Long-term situations, such as the conflict in Afghanistan that cause large refugee outflows, are lasting longer; “dramatic new or reignited situations” such as the conflicts in Syria and South Sudan are occurring with a greater frequency; and “the rate at which solutions are being found for refugees and internally displaced people has been on a falling trend since the end of the Cold War.”
The report was released on World Refugee Day, which is observed by the agency annually to commemorate “the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees.
The global population of forcibly displaced people today is larger than the entire population of the United Kingdom.
If they were a country, the forcibly displaced would be the 21st largest in the world.
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