Number of global displaced up to 65.6 million last year

20 June, 2017, 00:10 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Canada contributes $86M more to assist South Sudan famine, civil war crisis

The latest annual global trends study from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reports that one person was forced to leave their home every three seconds in 2016.

That's 300 thousand more than in 2015.

Of the 65.3 million displaced persons in 2015, 21.3 million were refugees.

Half of all refugees were children.

The initiative started in 1998 to combat hostility in society towards refugees and asylum seekers.

Among its findings, the report noted that some 75,000 asylum claims were received from children travelling alone or separated from their parents. In total, about 3.3 million South Sudanese had fled their homes by the end of the year, in what has become the fastest-growing displacement of people in the world.

"The report, which records statistics at the end of 2016 indicates [that] 1.4 million refugees from South Sudan [are] in neighboring countries and nearly two million internally displaced people", said Grandi.

"It speaks louder than ever to the need for solidarity and common objective in preventing and resolving crises, and ensuring together that the world's refugees, internally displaced and asylum-seekers are properly protected and cared for while solutions are pursued". Then there are asylum-seekers who have fled their country but haven't been granted refugee status. "Now, the authorities have a greater responsibility because they are in charge of this country and it is under their leadership that we must seek security", Grandi said.

The majority of those displaced in the sub-Saharan country are children.

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The UN refugee chief meanwhile voiced most alarm over the rapidly deteriorating situation in South Sudan, which he said was now the world's "fastest growing refugee crisis and displacement crisis". The total has now reached almost 1.9 million.

Most refugees come from Syria, due to the civil war that has been raging there since 2011.

- At least 10 million people are estimated to be stateless.

"The worldwide neglect that you see here is matched nowhere else in the world", Grandi told The Associated Press on Sunday while visiting South Sudan's largest internally displaced camp in the town of Bentiu.

Syria's neighbours Turkey and Lebanon have taken in some 2.9 million and 1 million people, respectively, while Pakistan hosts 1.4 million mostly Afghan refugees.

About two-thirds of the newly displaced people fled somewhere else in their own country. Twelve million people in the country were forced to abandon their homes in 2016 - that's more than half of the country's population. Significant numbers of refugees in Uganda also came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (205,400), Burundi (41,000), Somalia (30,700), and Rwanda (15,200).

The 2016 report said 84,283 individuals had made donations and there had also been increasing support from business, community groups and refugee diaspora. "That's the primary reason why ourselves and our partners have been trying to shift the global focus towards supporting those host countries".

The biggest new factor last year was South Sudan, the world's youngest country, where the disastrous breakdown of peace efforts last July contributed to the outflow of 739,900 people by the end of the year.

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