Number of Forcibly Displaced People Hit Record 65.3 Million in 2015World | June 20, 2016, Monday // 13:05| views
Syrian refugees next to their belongings as they wait to be transferred to hospitality centres during a police operation at a refugee camp at the border between Greece and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), near the village of Idomeni, norther
According to the latest Global Trends report of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released on Monday, 65.3 million people around the world were forcibly displaced at the end of last year, meaning that one in every 113 was either asylum-seeker, internally displaced or refugee.
This is the largest number of forcibly displaced people ever recorded by UNHCR.
The report estimated that on average 24 people were forced to flee each minute in 2015, which was a fourfold increase compared to a decade ago.
The number of displaced people at the end of 2015 increased by 5.8 million compared to a year earlier.
For the first time in the history of the organisation, the threshold of 60 million people was surpassed.
UNHCR Filippo Grandi noted that not only the number of people displaced by war and persecution is increasing, but also the factors endangering refugees.
Grandi pointed to the growing number of refugees and migrants dying in sea crossings each year, while their land routes are blocked by closed borders.
The number of forcibly displaced people was greater than the population of the UK or of Canada, Australia and New Zealand combined.
Out of all forcibly displaced people, 3.2 million were in industrialised countries awaiting decisions on asylum, 40.8 million were forced to flee their homes but remained within their own countries and 21.3 million were refugees.
Forced displacement has been increasing since at least the mid-1990s in most regions, but in the past five years this rate has particularly risen.
The report identifies three main reasons for this increase – longer lasting conflicts such as the ones in Somalia and Afghanistan, dramatic new or reignited conflicts and situations of insecurity like the ones in Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, Burundi, Ukraine and Central African Republic as well as the slower rate at which the world finds solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons.
At the end of last year, half of all refugees come from three countries – Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.
Syria had the largest number of refugees – 4.9 million, while Colombia had the largest number of internally displaced people – 6.9 million.
The vast majority of refugees were in developing countries in the global south. A total of 86 % of all refugees under the mandate of UNHCR were in low- and middle-income countries close to conflicts.
For the second consecutive year, Turkey was the largest host country with 2.5 million refugees, while Lebanon had the largest number of refugees per capita.
Another worrying trend is that more than half (51 % )of all refugees were children.