The World Now Has a Record Number of Refugees

The total represents an enormous number of people needing protection worldwide.

The figure of 65.6 million comprises three important components. Of these, 17.2 million come under the responsibility of UNHCR, and the remainder are Palestinian refugees registered with our sister-organization UNRWA.

The conflict in Syria alone has displaced 12 million people overall, meaning that 65% of the country's whole population are either internally displaced or have become refugees outside the country.

Each year millions of people are forced to leave their homes and seek refuge from conflicts, violence, human rights violations, persecution or natural disasters.

Syria is the only country in which a majority of the population is forcibly displaced. As of the end of 2016 the number of people seeking asylum globally was 2.8 million.

However, it is still much less dramatic leap than in 2014-2015, when the number of people forced to flee their homes, has increased by five million.

However, the total number seeking safety across global borders as refugees topped 22.5 million, the highest number seen since UNHCR was founded in 1950.

"We hope that further progress on the peace talks can lay the groundwork for the peace and reconciliation needed for IDPs and refugees to return home voluntarily, in safety and dignity, in the near future", said Vivian Tan.

Among the report's key findings, is that new displacement in particular remains very high.

On Monday the UN Refugee Agency reported that about 65.6-million people have been displaced due to war‚ violence and persecution - an "unprecedented high". Another 40 million people were displaced within the borders of their own countries, about 500,000 fewer than in 2015. Some 37 countries together accepted 189,300 refugees for resettlement. South Sudan's civil war, which began in December 2013, has left tens of thousands dead and forced a total of 3.7 million people from their homes - almost a third of the population.

With developing regions hosting 84 percent of the world's refugees, Grandi once again renewed his call to the wealthiest countries to welcome more of them, at a time when the United States is reviewing its refugee programme and entry conditions to the country.

While in Bentiu, the High Commissioner also visited a new site where hundreds of displaced people have been given small plots of land to build more permanent shelters, as well as supply kits that include solar lamps, cooking supplies and soap.

At the end of 2016, there were about 40.3 million internally displaced people in the world, down slightly from 40.8 million a year earlier, with Syria, Iraq and Colombia accounting for the greatest numbers.

Children, including some 75,000 unaccompanied minors, constituted 51 per cent of the refugee population though they only make up 31 per cent of the world's entire population.

"If we fail, we will be faced with a more unstable world, where the alarming high displacement figures will only continue to increase", said Egeland.

UNHCR also sounded an alarm over another rapidly escalating crisis in Democratic Republic of Congo, where over 1 million people have been displaced internally and over 30,000 terms have crossed into Angola since August.

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