Geneva: For the fourth consecutive year, Turkey has hosted more refugees than any other country in the world, a new U.N. report released recently said.
The report said the world's forcibly displaced population rose 2.9 million last year, with a record high 68.5 million people forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, or violence. This means one in every 110 humans on earth is now displaced.
The report said Turkey hosted the largest number of refugees worldwide, with 3.5 million people – most of them fleeing the Syrian civil war. Pakistan came second with 1.4 million, followed by Uganda with 1.4 million and Lebanon with nearly a million.
More than two-thirds of all refugees worldwide came from just five countries: Syria with 6.3 million, Afghanistan with 2.6 million, South Sudan with 2.4 million, Myanmar with 1.2 million, and Somalia with 986,400.
According to the report by the UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, an estimated 16.2 million people were newly displaced last year.
"What we are seeing in this data is overall displacement at an unprecedented high six years in a row. Regarding refugee numbers it is the largest increase in a single year," UNHCR spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh said.
There are now some 25.4 million refugees worldwide, 40 million internally displaced people, and 3.1 million asylum-seekers, the report said.
"Significant new displacement, affecting millions of people, was seen in particular from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Myanmar as well as continuing displacement due to the Syria crisis," the report said.
"The situations in the DRC and Myanmar deteriorated rapidly in the second half of 2017, affecting millions of people", the report said.
"The flight of refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh occurred at a particularly rapid rate. Over 2017, 655,500 arrived in Bangladesh, mainly concentrated in 100 days from the end of August, making the humanitarian response very challenging. Also, there was a large proportion of infants, children, and pregnant women among refugees and IDPs from the DRC and Myanmar, adding a further layer of complexity for interventions," the report elaborated.
By the end of 2017, about 3.1 million people were awaiting a decision on their applications for asylum, about half in developing regions.
About half of last year's refugee population were children under 18. A total of 173,800 unaccompanied and separated child refugees and asylum-seekers were reported last year, and 45,500 unaccompanied and separated children sought asylum on an individual basis.
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