World

United Nations releases 'disheartening' statistics on World Refugee Day

United Nations releases 'disheartening' statistics on World Refugee Day

A record 65.6 million people were forced from their homes in troubled areas of the world by the end of previous year, the United Nations said on Monday.

A United Nations report shows that there are 65.3 million refugees around the world who have been displaced from their homes as a result of war, poverty, economic conditions and natural disasters.

The UN refugee agency reported that "very high" volumes of conflict and persecution is forcing people to flee their homes.

According to the United Nations, the war in South Sudan that broke out in 2013 has already claimed 2.5 million lives, forcing 3.3 million people to leave their homes, including 1.9 million displaced within the country.

On average, 20 people were driven from their homes every minute a year ago, or one every three seconds-less than the time it takes to read this sentence.

"Hardship, separation, death", Mr. Guterres said, recalling nightmare stories heard from refugees and displaced persons, whose number rose 300,000 since the end of 2015. A total of 22.5 million people, half of whom were children, registered as refugees in 2016.

This is "the highest figure since we started recording these figures", UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi told reporters ahead of the report launch.

"We hope that further progress on the peace talks can lay the groundwork for the peace and reconciliation needed for IDPs and refugees to return home voluntarily, in safety and dignity, in the near future", said Vivian Tan. The focus of the conference was on ways to assist refugees to become self-reliant and contribute to their host countries.




The total figure includes 40.3 million people uprooted within the borders of their own countries, about 500,000 fewer than in 2015.

In South Sudan, Grandi said the combination of violence, ethnic strife, lack of development, climatic factors and global neglect was unmatched anywhere in the world. They are followed by 7.7 million displaced Colombian refugees, 4.7 million Afghan refugees and 4.2 million Iraqi refugees.

World Refugee Day provides "a moment to ask ourselves what each of us can do to overcome indifference or fear and embrace the idea of inclusion", he said, concluding: "Because, when we stand together #WithRefugees, we also stand for respect and diversity for all".

Of the 4.9 million Syrian Refugees there are; around 1.9 million in Turkey, 1.2 million in Lebanon, 650,000 in Jordan, 250,000 in Iraq and 130,000 in Egypt.

Refugee resettlement also rose slightly in 2016, progress that we know has been reversed in 2017 by US President Donald Trump's executive order capping the US intake at its lowest level in 10 years.

Australia is also providing almost $1 million in food and supplies to help more than 320,000 people displaced by conflict in Marawi City in the southern Philippines.

"The worldwide neglect that you see here is matched nowhere else in the world", said Mr Grandi.


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