UN Says 20 People Become Refugees Every 60 Seconds

by Garry Watts June 20, 2017, 0:12

The number of refugees is more than the population of Britain and an increase of 300,000 over the previous year.

Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) that tracks displacement across the globe said the system protecting refugees will collapse "if we do not step up our support to countries like Uganda".

This file photo taken on June 4, 2017 shows a girl resting with other Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) on a mat in the Kasai Province in Kikwit.

The record number includes 22.5 million refugees, 40.3 million internally displaced people and 2.8 million asylum seekers.

The Geneva Convention says countries should accept someone as a refugee if they have fled their own country because of a 'well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion'.

The U.N. attributes a lot of that uptick to the Syrian war.

"Not only for the refugees and displaced from South Sudan, but for the almost 66 million displaced around the world".

By sheer numbers, Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees (2.9 million) followed by Pakistan (1.4 mln) and Lebanon (1 mln).

- The fastest growing refugee population was spurred by the crisis in South Sudan.

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Syria is the only country in which a majority of the population is forcibly displaced.

Uganda received the largest number of new refugees in 2016 in the world, said new figures released by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Monday.

The conflict in Syria, now in its seventh year, was the world's biggest producer of refugees (5.5 million).

At a meeting held after the rally, Chief Mission of UNHCR India Yasuko Shimizu said that despite the growth in the anti-refugee rhetoric in many parts of the world, the "hope and resilience" of those forced to flee their homes were matched with "support and assistance" across the world from peoples, organisations and governments.

This huge imbalance reflects several things including the lack of consensus internationally when it comes to hosting refugees, and the proximity of many poor countries to regions of conflict. Syria, Iraq and Colombia - which has endured decades of conflict - had the largest number of internally displaced people.

Lebanon is a much smaller country than the other four, so it actually accepted the largest number of refugees in relation to its population: 183 refugees per 1,000 Lebanese inhabitants.

Faced with another year of a record displacement, devastating the lives of millions of men, women and children, one thing is clear: "We have to do better for these people", Grandi said.

Anadolu Agency recently visited some of the refugee settlements and found shortages due funding shortfalls. Tragically, 75,000 asylum claims were received from children travelling alone or separated from their parents.

He said about 2,000 people crossed the border from South Sudan into Uganda each day over the last twelve months.


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