UN: World's refugees and displaced exceed record 60 million

By REUTERS
December 18, 2015 07:06

 
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GENEVA - The number of people forcibly displaced worldwide is likely to have "far surpassed" a record 60 million this year, mainly driven by the Syrian war and other protracted conflicts, the United Nations said on Friday.

The estimated figure includes 20.2 million refugees fleeing wars and persecution, the most since 1992, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a report.

Nearly 2.5 million asylum seekers have requests pending, with Germany, Russia and the United States receiving the highest numbers of the nearly one million new claims lodged in the first half of the year, it said.

"2015 is on track to see worldwide forced displacement exceeding 60 million for the first time - 1 in every 122 humans is today someone who has been forced to flee their homes," it said. The total figure at the end of 2014 was 59.5 million.

An estimated 34 million people were internally displaced as of mid-year, about 2 million more than the same time in 2014. Yemen, where civil war erupted in March, reported the highest number of newly uprooted people at 933,500.

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