On land, thousands are fleeing war zone. At sea, millions are dying each year in a bid to cross over to Europe. Conflicts have dragged on and so is the exodus, leaving millions displaced. The UNHCR report, which was unveiled on June 20, on the occasion of World Refugee Day, makes some stark revelations on the number of people who left their home and are stuck between hope and despair.
These facts will help you understand the enormity of the refugee crisis.
- War and persecution increased the total number of refugees and internally displaced people worldwide to a record 65.3 million by the end of 2015. The tally is greater than the combined population of Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
- On an average, 24 people had been displaced every minute in 2015. In 2005, the average was six people every minute. To look at it on a broader scale, 34,000 people were displaced each day in 2015.
- About 8 million were internally displaced in countries ravaged by conflict. About 21.3 million were refugees and some 3.2 million more were seeking asylum.
- When measured against the world population of 7.4 billion people, one in every 113 people globally is either a refugee, an asylum-seeker or internally displaced.
- Three countries produce half the world’s refugees. Syria at 4.9 million, Afghanistan at 2.7 million and Somalia at 1.1 million accounted for more than half the refugees worldwide.
- Colombia with 6.9 million, Syria with 6.6 million and Iraq with 4.4 million had the largest numbers of internally-displaced people.
- According to UNHCR, 86 per cent of the refugees in 2015 were in low- and middle-income countries located near the situations of conflict.
- Global displacement has roughly doubled since 1997, and risen by 50 per cent since 2011, when the Syria War began.
- Children were 51 per cent of the world’s refugees in 2015. Some of them were separated from their parents during the journey from their homeland.
- Asylum claims to European countries are at their highest since records began. Around one-third of last year’s claims were made in Germany. In fact, Germany and Sweden accepted a disproportionate share of Europe’s asylum seekers.
- Turkey was the biggest host country. It absorbed 2.5 million people, mostly from neighbouring Syria.
- With 1.1 million, Lebanon hosted more refugees compared to its population than any other country. It has nearly one refugee for every five citizens.
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