UN Calls 2015 a Year of Unprecedented Displacement of People

In a report released yesterday, The United Nations has found that 2015 was a year of displaced people. Over 65 million people were displaced either internally, or fled their country, this is a number that is unprecedented. Even the two World Wars did not see this many people flee their homes.

The main reasons for this was war and persecution and the number, exceeding 605 million has never happened before. To put it into perspective, that is a number greater than the population of the UK. It is also greater than the population of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand put together. The report, a part of the UN’s annual ‘Global Trends Report’ was released on world refugees day by the UNHCR, earlier this week.

 Compared to the previous year, that is a 5 million increase, the number of people displaced in the year 2014 was around 59.5 million, the highest till that time. The number is tallied counting 21.3 million refugees, 40.8 million internally displaced and 3.2 million asylum seekers.

Putting it into perspective

The report also has a number of interesting statistics to help people comprehend this situation.

  • The world’s total population is around 7.4 billion people, that means one person in every 113 people on the planet are either refugees or in some way running away from their homes.
  • There has never been this level of people displaced ever in human history, this puts them in a situation that is according to the report ‘at a level of risk that knows no precedent’.
  • 24 people were forced to flee their homes every minute last year. Just ten years back that number was four times less, at 6 people every minute.
  • The middle eastern countries Afghanistan and Syria, and eastern African Somalia produces the highest number of asylum seekers and refugees at 2.7 million, 4.9 million and 1.1 million respectively.
  • Columbia from South America had the largest number of internally displaced people in the world at 6.9 million, Syria had 6.6 IDPs, Iraq had 4.4 million people.
  • In all 86% of the world’s refugees came from low and middle income countries that were in or close to situations of extreme conflict, forcing them to flee.

Turkey was named the largest host country, they took in 2.5 million refugees. Taking the refugee to population ratio, Lebanon has the highest and there is one refugee for every five members of the local population.

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