UN agency: 2017 record for displaced persons worldwide, exceeding 68 million
In 2017 the total was 68.5 million. Last year a jump of 3.1 million, far above 300 thousand in 2016. Globally one in 110 people fall under status of displaced. UN experts: we need a "new and more global" approach to the problem. Over a fifth of the total refugees are Palestinians.
Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The number of refugees and internally displaced persons due to conflicts in the world has reached a new record in 2017. According to UN experts, for the fifth consecutive year there has been a growth, up to 68.5 million; of these, half are children.
The annual report prepared by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shows that the "jump" recorded last year (3.1 million people) far exceeds the increase in 2016, which was around 300 thousand units. This figure is explained by the peak in the number of refugees, while the number of internally displaced persons has decreased, albeit slightly.
This means that, overall, one in 110 people in the world is in the status of displaced.
"We are at a decisive moment" underlines Filippo Grandi, who has led the Unchr since 2015, and the "answer" to the issue of displaced persons globally "requires a new and more global approach". The central point, he warns, is "do not leave them alone" to face this problem the countries and the world communities concerned.
According to UNHCR leaders, "refugees who have fled their country to escape conflicts and persecution represent about 25.4 million out of a total of 68.5 million people uprooted from their land". This means that, compared to 2016, last year there was "an increase of 2.9 million". This, they conclude, "is the highest growth ever recorded by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on an annual basis".
At the same time, the number of asylum seekers waiting for refugee status at the end of 2017 increased by about 300 thousand, reaching 3.1 million. The internally displaced persons in their country of origin are 40 million, with a slight decrease compared to the 40.3 million registered in 2016.
Finally, as far as refugees are concerned, just over a fifth of the total are Palestinians. The rest comes - in large majority - from just five states: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia.