World at War: One in Every 122 Humans is a Refugee
Posted by feww on June 18, 2015
One in every 122 humans is a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum —UNHCR
Record numbers of people are forced to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere amid wars, conflict and persecution, said a new report from the UN refugee agency.
UNHCR’s annual Global Trends Report: World at War, released on Thursday (June 18), said that worldwide displacement in 2014 was at the highest level ever recorded.
An astounding 59.5 million people, a population the size of Canada and Australia combined, were forcibly displaced at the end of 2014, compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million ten years ago.
“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
“It is terrifying that on the one hand there is more and more impunity for those starting conflicts, and on the other there is seeming utter inability of the international community to work together to stop wars and build and preserve peace.”
The numbers of refugees and internally displaced people are rising in every region of the world. Since 2010, “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 this year in Burundi); three in the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, and Yemen); one in Europe (Ukraine) and three in Asia (Kyrgyzstan, and in several areas of Myanmar and Pakistan).”
“Few of these crises have been resolved and most still generate new displacement,” the report said, adding that in 2014 only 126,800 refugees were able to return to their home countries—the lowest number in 31 years.
Children comprise half of all refugees
More than half the world’s refugees and IDP are children, according to the UN report.
In 2014, about 13.9 million people became newly displaced—four times the number of the previous year, according to the Global Trends report. “Worldwide there were 19.5 million refugees (up from 16.7 million in 2013), 38.2 million were displaced inside their own countries (up from 33.3 million in 2013), and 1.8 million people were awaiting the outcome of claims for asylum (against 1.2 million in 2013).”
Worldwide Refugees and IDP
The number of refugees and internally displaced people in Asia grew by 31 per cent in 2014 to 9 million. “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.”
Forced displacement numbers in Europe rose to 6.7 million last year, compared to 4.4 million at the end of 2013, with the largest proportion of this being Syrians in Turkey, Ukrainians in the Russian Federation, and a record 219,000 Mediterranean crossings…
Middle East and North Africa
Syria’s ongoing war, with a total of 11.5 million displaced people [7.6 million IDP and 3.88 million refugees at the end of 2014,] was the world’s largest producer and host of forced displacement last year. The regional total grew further with new displacement of least 2.6 million people in Iraq and 309,000 newly displaced in Libya. Afghanistan had 2.59 million refugees.
“Africa’s numerous conflicts, including in Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia (1.1 million), Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere, together produced immense forced displacement totals in 2014, on a scale only marginally lower than in the Middle East.”
Sub-Saharan Africa had 3.7 million refugees and 11.4 million IDP, 4.5 million of whom were newly displaced in 2014. The 17 per cent overall increase excludes Nigeria.
A rise in forced displacement also occurred in the Americas, said the report. Colombia had one of the world’s largest IDP at 6 million, with 137,000 Colombians being newly displaced in 2014. “With more people fleeing gang violence or other forms of persecution in Central America, the United States saw 36,800 more asylum claims than in 2013, representing growth of 44 percent.”
The Global Trends report is available at http://unhcr.org/556725e69.html.