DİHA - Dicle News Agency


Global refugees and displaced to hit record

18 December
16:43 2015

NEWS CENTER (DİHA) - The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide will "far surpass" a record 60 million this year, the UN says.

The report by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said "one in every 122 humans is today someone who has been forced to flee their homes". The figure includes 20.2 million refugees, the highest total since 1992, the UNHCR added. The numbers were mainly driven by the Syrian war, conflict in Ukraine and other protracted conflicts, it said. The report is based on figures from the first half of 2015.

Violence in Afghanistan, Somalia and South Sudan also sparked large refugee movements, as well as fighting in Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq. Asylum applications had risen 78% over the same period in 2014, while the numbers of internally displaced people reached an estimated 34 million.

The number of refugees rose by 839,000 in the first six months of 2015 - or almost 4,600 people on average every day. "Forced displacement is now profoundly affecting our times," UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres said in a statement. "Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything."

Developing countries bordering conflict zones still host the biggest share of the refugees, the report said. Germany received the biggest number of asylum claims worldwide - 159,000 in the six months leading to June - although the situation has escalated since then with Germany now due to take in one million asylum-seekers by the end of 2015.

Russia received the next largest number of asylum applications - 100,000 in the first half of 2015 - mainly from people fleeing fighting in Ukraine.

Europe's migrant crisis is only partially reflected in the numbers, since arrivals have escalated in the second half of 2015, a period not covered by the report. It also noted that voluntary return rates - a measure of how many refugees can safely go back home - are at their lowest levels in more than three decades. "In effect, if you become a refugee today your chances of going home are lower than at any time in more than 30 years."