The latest annual global trends study from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reports that one person was forced to leave their home every three seconds in 2016. There are almost 65.6 million refugees, including those who abandoned their homes, internally displaced persons and asylum seekers.
According to the report, there are about 40.3 million internally displaced persons; 22.5 Refugees; 2.8 million asylum seekers. Nearly 84% of the burden of hospitality is supported by poor countries, despite the focus on migrant crises in Europe.
Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, detailed the numbers, “Last year, the total number of refugees, was about 300,000 more than the year 2015, exceeds the British population [65,14 million, ndr]. This means that on average about 20 people per minute last year were forced to flee their homes, one every three seconds”.
UN High Commissioner said the number of displaced people was unacceptable. “It speaks louder than ever to the need for solidarity and common purpose 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”, he said. “We have to do better for these people”.
Although the increase in refugees is slightly higher than 2015, the same cannot be said compared to 2014, at least six million more. In total, in 2016 nearly 10.3 million people fled from war or persecution areas. Of these, about 3.4 million have crossed the borders of neighbouring states.
From the point of view of the geographical origin of migrants, Syria has 5.5 million (plus 6.3 million internally displaced persons), followed by Afghanistan (2.5 million) and Sudan Sudan (1.4 millions).
The head of the UN Refugee Agency warned that the Syrian conflict, which has entered the seventh year, “is becoming a forgotten crisis”, despite civilian casualties being more than 320,000. Another alarming situation, he added, is that of South Sudan, “the humanitarian crisis and the fastest displacement”, that has ever been witnessed.
Finally, the UN representative pointed out that the biggest burden of migration, despite the desperate who reach the shores of Europe every day, is supported by the poorest countries. At least 84% of refugees find shelter in Turkey (which has 2.9 million people), Pakistan (1.4 million), Lebanon (over one million), Iran (979.400 migrants), Uganda (940.800) and Ethiopia 761 600).
Uganda experienced a dramatic increase in its refugee population, which doubled in 2016 to 940,800, with most new arrivals coming from South Sudan. 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).
South Sudan had the world’s fastest growing refugee population last year and could be the next Syria, warns a new report by the United Nations Refugee Agency.
South Sudan, currently caught in a brutal ethnic war, is behind only Syria and Afghanistan in terms of the size of its refugee population, with people from those two countries accounting for 5.5 million and 2.5 million respectively of all refugees who left their homeland for safety.
Together the three countries made up 55 per cent of the world’s 65.6 million displaced people – a category that includes those forced out of their homes who remain within their own country – in 2016, when there were 20 new displacements every minute, said the UN report.
Some 37 countries together accepted 189,300 refugees for resettlement. Around half a million other refugees were able to return to their home countries, and about 6.5 million internally displaced people to their areas of origin – although many did so in less than ideal circumstances and facing uncertain prospects.
Developing countries hosted 84 per cent or 14.5 million of the world’s refugees, who are under the United Nations’ mandate. Germany, which hosted 700,000 refugees by the end of 2016, was the only developed country in the West that made the top 10 host countries for refugees.
The refugee agency estimated that at least 10 million people around the world were without a nationality or at risk of statelessness at the end of 2016.