Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
World News | By Penny Hart

South Sudan has world's fastest growing number of displaced

South Sudan has world's fastest growing number of displaced

South Sudan's internal conflict, which broke out at the end of 2013, has claimed thousands of lives and driven well over a million of people from their homes, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Colombia was second with 7.7 million people forcibly displaced and Afghanistan with 4.7 million.

Another 2 million people are internally displaced.

Despite the decrease, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has termed it as a "disappointing failure" of the UN legateship.

Wealthy nations are failing to meet their obligation to support refugees fleeing civil war, the rights group said in a report ahead of a high-level donor summit this week in Kampala that aims to raise $8 billion over the next four years.

And almost 70 years after Palestinians first fled today's Israel, some 5.3 million Palestinians are now living as refugees - the highest level ever recorded, UNHCR said.

The UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said on Monday the figure that includes refugees, asylum seekers and people uprooted inside their own countries was some 300,000 higher at the end of a year ago as compared to 2015.

A third (4.9 million people) are hosted by the world's least developed countries.

The figures released ahead of World Refugee Day on Tuesday showed that 10.3 million of the world's displaced people fled their homes past year alone, including 3.4 million who crossed worldwide borders to become refugees.

Turkey, which has taken in the largest number of Syrians, to a total of 2.9 million at the end of 2015.

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- One person became displaced every three seconds in 2016.

However, in 2016 the biggest new factor was South Sudan, where the disastrous break-off of peace efforts in July contributed to an outflow of 737,400 people by the end of the year.

Relative to its population, Lebanon cares for the largest number of refugees with one in six, followed by Jordan with one in 11, and then Turkey where one in 28 people is a refugee. However, it is still much less dramatic leap than in 2014-2015, when the number of people forced to flee their homes, has increased by five million. In recent years, about 66 million people, or 1 percent of the world population, have fled their homes.

Canada is contributing another $86 million to assist starvation and war ravaged South Sudan, International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced today.

Of this number, 22.5 million are refugees - those forced to leave their country; 40.3 million are displaced persons or those who find temporary shelter within the same country; and 2.8 million are asylum seekers - people who have fled their country and are seeing worldwide protection as refugees.

Until 2012, the global displacement number had for years remained relatively stable at around 40 million people, but "we now seem to be landing on a new horrific normal", he told AFP.

Monday's report also pointed out that, despite huge focus on Europe's migrant crisis, it is poorer countries that host most of the world's refugees.

This figure includes refugee numbers and people displaced in their own countries.

The Syrian conflict, which has killed more than 320,000 people, "is becoming a forgotten crisis", warned Grandi.

Mr Grandi also warned of the burden being placed on numerous world's poorest states, as some 84% of the world's displaced people are living in poor and middle income countries. "For a world in conflict, what is needed is determination and courage, not fear", added Grandi.

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