South Sudan has world's fastest growing number of displaced

Author

20 June, 2017

Second is displacement of people inside their own countries, whose numbers were 40.3 million at the end of 2016 compared to 40.8 million a year earlier.

The number of people displaced from their homes across the world climbed slightly to 65.6 million previous year, with the escalating conflict in South Sudan accounting for the rise, the United Nations refugee agency said Monday.

UNHCR was still there, helping numerous same people now fleeing an internal conflict, he told local government officials in the northern town of Bentiu. People internally displaced are defined as still living in their home country, but have nowhere to actually live. The total figure includes refugees, asylum-seekers and people uprooted inside their own countries.

The number of people displaced by armed conflict or government persecution reached a seven-decade high at the end of 2016, according to the United Nations division responsible for monitoring global refugees.

Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees said, "It is an extremely moveable situation, an extremely dynamic situation, which reflects in turn conflicts that continue to affect mostly and primarily and very violently civilians".

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.

A record 65.6 million people are either refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced across the globe, the United Nations refugee agency said on Monday.

It also illustrates the need for countries and communities supporting refugees and other displaced people to be robustly resourced and supported - the absence of which can create instability, have consequences for life-saving humanitarian work, or lead to secondary displacement.

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Donor countries should not only take in refugees but should also help to fund poorer host countries that are severely strained by helping their neighbours, the UNCHR said.

The agency's Global Trend Report was published just ahead of World Refugee Day on Tuesday, illustrating several facts and figures about the current refugee crisis.

The conflict in Syria, now in its seventh year, was the world's biggest producer of refugees (5.5 million). Lebanon, where one in six people is a refugee, continued to host the largest number of refugees relative to its national population.

About half of the refugee population last year were children younger than 18 years of age, according the report. The report attributed that slight reduction in part to people who had returned to their homes, offsetting the number of new people who had fled.

Tragically, 75,000 asylum claims were received from children travelling alone or separated from their parents, among them youngsters like Tareq, 16, who dodged armed combatants to walk out of Syria into neighbouring Turkey.

One of the fastest growing refugee populations was sparked by conflict in South Sudan after Africa's longest civil war left 2.2 million people displaced in 2011.

"For a world in conflict, what is needed is determination and courage, not fear", Grandi said.

"The richest and most stable countries from Europe to the USA do their uttermost to keep refugees away".


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