Almost 65 million people are displaced

UNHCR head UNHCR Filippo Grandi visits a UN protection site in Juba on Saturday 17 June 2017

For the fifth year in a row, the number of people displaced worldwide continued to increase from an already historically high level.

The UNHCR's new Global Trends report on displacement said at the end of last year 300,000 more people than the preceding year had been displaced.

Last year South Africa came under the spotlight by the UNHCR for rejecting more refugee applications than any other country globally.

Out of the 65.6 million worldwide total, 22.5 million are refugees, 40.3 million are internally displaced and 2.8 million are asylum seekers.

The report defines refugees as those forced to leave their homes for other countries. Another two million have fled the country as refugees.

The UN high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, stated: "By any measure this is an unacceptable number".

South Sudan turned into the third-biggest source of refugees overseas past year, behind Syria (5.5 million) and Afghanistan (2.5 million).

While 10.3 million people fled previous year, almost 7.2 million refugees and internally displaced people returned home or started new lives under long-term resettlement programmes in Western countries.

The UN refugee chief meanwhile voiced alarm over the rapidly deteriorating situation in South Sudan, calling it the world's "fastest growing refugee crisis and displacement crisis". Syria, Iraq and Colombia - which has endured decades of conflict - had the largest number of internally displaced people.


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

Grandi also warned of the burden being placed on numerous world's poorest states, as some 84 per cent of the world's displaced people are living in poor and middle income countries, the BBC reported. "Borders must be kept open, but we can not expect a country like Uganda to shoulder the entire bill", said Egeland.

Australian individuals and former refugee communities have made the largest donation to date to support refugees.

She also visited Jonglei region in the northeast of the country, where she observed the World Food Programme's humanitarian relief operations and spoke with local civilians, especially women, affected by the crisis, Global Affairs said in a statement.

While Grandi said ensuring people were safe was important, he warned against setting up "kingdoms of dependency" like the sprawling camps for Somali refugees in Dadaab in northern Kenya that have become permanent settlements.

Last year, around half a million refugees went back to their countries, while 6.5 million internally displaced people returned.

That figure has ballooned by a further half million people since then, the agency said, stressing that most of the refugees have left since the "disastrous breakdown of peace efforts" last July.

"We are in an extremely hard situation and ultimately the solution has to come from worldwide states upholding their obligations and supporting refugees, but also helping to bring crises to a close", said Matthew Saltmarsh, spokesman for the UNHCR.

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