Over 50m displaced globally: UNHCR
KABUL (Pajhwok): More than 50 million people were forced from their homes worldwide by end of 2013, the highest displacement figure since World War II, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.
Almost half of the 51.2 million people displaced were children, many caught up in conflicts or persecution that world powers were unable to prevent, the UHCR said in its annual report titled Global Trends.
Afghan, Syrian and Somali citizens accounted for 53 percent of the 11.7 million refugees under UNHCR's care. Five million Palestinians are looked after by the UNRWA.
The report shows 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2013, fully 6 million more than the 45.2 million reported in 2012. The war in Syria forced 2.5 million people into becoming refugees and made 6.5 million internally displaced in 2013.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said: "We are seeing here the immense costs of not ending wars, of failing to resolve or prevent conflict. Peace is today dangerously in deficit..."
The biggest refugee populations under UNHCR care are Afghans, Syrians and Somalis -- together accounting for more than half of the global refugees. Pakistan, Iran and Lebanon hosted more refugees than other countries.
The regions with the largest refugee populations were Asia and the Pacific, with a total of 3.5 million people. Sub-Saharan Africa totalled 2.9 million, and the Middle East and North Africa, 2.6 million.
"We are really facing a quantum leap, an enormous increase of forced displacement in our world," U Guterres told a news briefing while releasing the grim annual report.
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