United Nations reports record number of refugees in the world


United Nations reports record number of refugees in the world

According to the UNHCR, 20 people were forced to flee their homes every minute in 2016.

The report has revealed that 65.6 million is the highest in a decade and is 300,000 higher than the number of refugees recorded in 2015.

The Global Trends report is based on the UNHCR's own data, data it receives from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and data received from governments.

The figures, released ahead of World Refugee Day on Tuesday, showed that a full 10.3 million of the world's displaced people fled their homes a year ago alone, including 3.4 million who crossed worldwide borders to become refugees.

Myanmar's internal conflicts left 490,000 refugees and 375,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) by the end of 2016, according to the UN's refugee agency in Asia spokesperson Vivian Tan, adding to increasing global displacement worldwide. Ongoing crises in sub-Saharan Africa have resulted in large and sudden population displacements, which results in neighboring countries opening their borders to those fleeing conflict.

The UN refugee chief meanwhile voiced most alarm over the rapidly deteriorating situation in South Sudan, which he said was now the world's "fastest growing refugee crisis and displacement crisis". "It was followed by Pakistan (1.4 million), Lebanon (1.0 million), the Islamic Republic of Iran (979,400), Uganda (940,800), and Ethiopia (791,600)", the report said. The total refugee population - people who fled their home countries - was about 22.5 million people, and almost half of those were children.

In total, about 3.3 million South Sudanese had fled their homes by the end of the year, in what is known as the fastest-growing displacement of people in the world. "Those figures are probably higher".

Children, including some 75,000 unaccompanied minors, constituted 51 per cent of the refugee population though they only make up 31 per cent of the world's entire population.

Nyawet Tut, a South Sudanese mother of five in her 30s, related how soldiers set fire to her village forcing her to flee with her five children as well as five others from relatives who were killed in the conflict. The country receiving the greatest number of requests for asylum for these children was Germany: 35,900. At the end of 2016, the number of asylum seekers worldwide was 2.8 million. The United States came in second with 262,000 newly filed applications.

The UN Report called the large number of unaccompanied children asking for asylum a growing and hard problem. Refugees fall under the auspice of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and are entitled to certain rights and basic assistance. "This is very low for mid-year". He told VOA he hopes the shortfall is not because "the Syrians are forgotten" and that the money will soon be made available.

The Justice Ministry announced in February that a record 10,901 foreign nationals had applied for refugee status in Japan last year, up 44 percent from the previous year.

"I think this year the budget will be fundamentally stable".



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