GENEVA - Some 72 million people around the world had been driven from their homes by conflict, natural disasters or big development projects at the end of last year, the Red Cross reported on Tuesday.

Nearly 16.4 million had fled abroad and were officially classified as refugees, while 41.4 million more were living in their own country as "internally displaced persons," according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world's largest disaster relief network.

The remainder were asylum seekers whose claims were pending or had failed, as well as refugees who had not registered, the IFRC said in its annual World Disasters Report.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger