Record 68.5 million people displaced in 2017, United Nations reports


Syria's seven-year conflict alone had, by the end of last year, pushed more than 6.3 million people out of the country, accounting for almost one-third of the global refugee population.

By the end of 2017, the number was almost three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50% increase from the 42.7m uprooted from their homes a decade ago, according to a report by the UN High Commission for Refugees.

Bangladesh hosted the seventh largest refugee population in the world in 2017 with a total number of more than 9.32 lakh (932,000) Rohingyas, according to annual Global Trend report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) yesterday, on the eve of World Refugee Day.

Nai Jit Lam is calling on the global community to step in and provide safety to the growing number of displaced people around the world. Numerous host countries are "desperately poor and receive little support to care for these populations".

Refugees accounted for 25.4 million - 2.9 million more than in 2016 - "the biggest increase UNHCR has ever seen in a single year", the organization said.

Last year, someone was displaced every two seconds, mostly in poorer countries, said the secretary-general.

"Refugees are fleeing violence, war and persecution".

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Close to 174,000 refugees are children, who were separated from their families.

In its annual report released on Tuesday, UNHCR said continued crises in places like South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar that started previous year, raised the overall figure of forced displacement in 2017 to 68.5 million. The agency calculates that one in every 110 people in the world is a refugee, either internally displaced or seeking asylum.

The U.N. refugee agency reported that the number of refugees worldwide in 2017, displaced both internally and overseas, reached 68.5 million - larger than the population of either Britain or France. "No one becomes a refugee by choice; but the rest of us can have a choice about how we help".

"The number of refugees increased more than three-fold, from 276,200 at the beginning of the year to 932,200 at year-end", says the report.

The report said 68 million people were counted as displaced at the end of 2017.

Earlier, Grandi called for a "new and far more comprehensive approach" to deal with the refugee situation. Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Uganda, Ethiopia, Jordan, DR Congo and Kenya have all committed, along with all Member States, in the New York Declaration of September 2016, 'to a more equitable sharing of the burden and responsibility for hosting and supporting the world's refugees, while taking account of existing contributions and the differing capacities and resources among States'. Turkey topped the list of countries that hosted the most refugees a year ago, with 3.5 million. "If so, this will have dramatic consequences not only for the people affected, but also for the stability and security in many parts of the world", he added. A year ago the United Nations member countries only received about 103.000 resettlement refugees. Whether it's to support the refugees themselves, whether it's to support to host countries with resources or whether it's to welcome refugees when they make it to the border. Defying critics at home and overseas, President Donald Trump said Monday that the United States would not become a "refugee holding facility".