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Sunday 4 December 2016

'One in every 122 people alive today is a refugee' - UN warns of spiralling migrant crisis

David Kearns

Published 18/12/2015 | 14:29

Refugees and migrants arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos after being rescued from the Aegean (AP)
Refugees and migrants arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos after being rescued from the Aegean (AP)

One in every 122 humans alive today is a refugee according to the United Nations, who reports that some 60 million people have been forcibly displaced in 2015.

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The estimated figure includes 20.2 million refugees fleeing wars and persecution – a number that alone exceeds the whole of 2014, the UN Refugee Agency warned.

“2015 is on track to see worldwide forced displacement exceeding 60 million for the first time - 1 in every 122 humans is today someone who has been forced to flee their homes," the UNHCR’s said in a statement. 

Read More: Migrant arrivals in Europe set to hit one million mark

“Not only are people fleeing their homes in record numbers, but opportunities for them to return safely are at the lowest level in three decades.”

Its report, based on official figures as of mid-year before the influx of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe peaked in October, extrapolates from trends to estimate the global total.

An estimated 34 million people were internally displaced as of mid-year, about two million more than over the same time in 2014.

Syria's civil war that began in 2011 has been the main driver of mass displacement, with more than 4.2 million Syrian refugees having fled abroad, UNHCR said.

Yemen, where civil war erupted in March, reported the highest number of newly uprooted people at 933,500.

Read More: Amnesty accuses Turkey of using EU funds to detain asylum seekers

AfghanistaThe estimated figure includes 20.2 million refugees fleeing wars and persecution – a number that alone exceeds the whole of 2014, the UN Refugee Agency warned.

“2015 is on track to see worldwide forced displacement exceeding 60 million for the first time - 1 in every 122 humans is today someone who has been forced to flee their homes," the UNHCR’s said in a statement. 

“Not only are people fleeing their homes in record numbers, but opportunities for them to return safely are at the lowest level in three decades.”

Its report, based on official figures as of mid-year before the influx of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe peaked in October, extrapolates from trends to estimate the global total.

An estimated 34 million people were internally displaced as of mid-year, about two million more than over the same time in 2014.

Syria's civil war that began in 2011 has been the main driver of mass displacement, with more than 4.2 million Syrian refugees having fled abroad, UNHCR said.

Yemen, where civil war erupted in March, reported the highest number of newly uprooted people at 933,500.

Afghanistan, Ukraine Somalia, South Sudan, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq made large contributions as well.

Read More: Germany will reduce migrant influx, Angela Merkel tells party

Between January and June an estimated 84,000 refugees voluntarily returned home, compared to 107,000 over the same period last year.

"In effect, if you become a refugee today your chances of going home are lower than at any time in more than 30 years,” said Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything.”n, Ukraine Somalia, South Sudan, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq made large contributions as well.

Between January and June an estimated 84,000 refugees voluntarily returned home, compared to 107,000 over the same period last year.

"In effect, if you become a refugee today your chances of going home are lower than at any time in more than 30 years,” said Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything.”

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