Global refugee displacement now worse than World War 2

21st June 2016 / Global

By Graham Vanbergen –  The U.N.’s refugee agency has just reported the number of displaced people, now at its highest ever, surpassing even post-World War II numbers, when the world was struggling to come to terms with the most devastating event in history, which killed 60 million from a population of 2.3 billion or 3 per cent.

In a modern world, particularly reading this from the West, one would think that human displacement due to conflict could not possibly surpass that of the most devastating event in human history – but it has.

The total at the end of last year reached a staggering 65.3 million, or one out of every 113 people on planet Earth, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This number now represents a 5.8 million increase on the year before and shows no signs of slowing, growing at a rate of well over 400,000 per month.

The EU has spent $3.1 billion since the refugee crisis started and it is now looking to ramp up its contribution to stop the refugee crisis getting worse by stopping them entering, but not by trying to solve the problem at source. The EU is being engulfed by anti-immigration political groups which looks set to destabilise the bloc.

Shockingly, about 1% of Earth’s population is either “an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee” according to the UNHCR report.

The global population of forcibly displaced people is larger than the entire population of the United Kingdom. If they were a country, the forcibly displaced would be the 21st largest in the world.

Over half of all refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.

“At sea, a frightening number of refugees and migrants are dying each year. On land, people fleeing war are finding their way blocked by closed borders.”
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi

It is the first time in the organization’s history that the threshold of 60 million has been crossed. “More people are being displaced by war and persecution and that’s worrying in itself, but the factors that endanger refugees are multiplying too,” said UN High Commissioner.

A Syrian refugee camp located in Jordan

A Syrian refugee camp located in Jordan

Grandi said that politics was also standing in the way of those seeking asylum in some countries. “The willingness of nations to work together not just for refugees but for the collective human interest is what’s being tested today, and it’s this spirit of unity that badly needs to prevail,” he declared.

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Every minute of every hour of every day, the report says, 24 more refugees are created.

The study found that three countries produce half the world’s refugees. Syria at 4.9 million, Afghanistan at 2.7 million and Somalia at 1.1 million together accounted for more than half the refugees under UNHCR’s mandate worldwide. Colombia at 6.9 million, Syria at 6.6 million and Iraq at 4.4 million had the largest numbers of internally displaced people.

The report continues, children made up an astonishing 51 per cent of the world’s refugees in 2015, according to the data from UNHCR.  Many were separated from their parents or travelling alone and that group alone distressingly made up 1 in 5 of over 32 million refugees or put another way, 6.4 million children have lost their parents, any family whatsoever, home, school or anything else.

Overall, 180,000 people died in 42 conflicts last year and that was the number formally registered, the actual number is likely to be far higher.

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