United Nations refugee agency: Record 65.6 million people displaced worldwide

Europe's largest migrant crisis since World War II has seen more than 10,000 migrants perish since 2014 UN refugee agency UNHCR saysAFP  File

Europe's largest migrant crisis since World War II has seen more than 10,000 migrants perish since 2014 UN refugee agency UNHCR saysAFP File

But, with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced worldwide - representing a new post-Second World War record - wealthy countries need to do more to help, Beuze told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview from Ottawa.

The number of South Sudanese refugees has risen to about 1.9 million this year, with a similar number internally displaced, said the United Nations refugee agency. "By any measure this is an unacceptable number", said UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi, urging "solidarity and a common goal in preventing and resolving crisis".

On World Refugee Day, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative Jean-Nicolas Beuze said Canada has done its fair share of resettling refugees, especially with more recent efforts to welcome Syrian refugees.

The refugee agency estimated that at least 10 million people around the world were without a nationality or at risk of statelessness at the end of 2016. Refugee numbers worldwide have reached 22.5 million, which the report notes "is the highest ever seen". Refugees are standing at the crossroads and the goal of observing the day each year on June 20th is to highlight the ordeal and plight of refugees who are always on their toes to find a home between countries' borders. The total, which includes refugees, asylum seekers and people displaced within the borders of their own countries, was about 300,000 higher than in 2015.

The main country of origin for refugees in 2016 was Syria, accounting for 5.5 million refugees.

A United Nations (UN) report documented that almost 66 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes a year ago.

"Some survived, later calling people they knew on the first boat to say they had been rescued by the Libyans".

"Canada did extremely well a year ago by resettling many, mainly Syrian, refugees", Beuze said Tuesday, noting that refugees have seen "huge support" from local communityand faith-based organizations.

South Sudan, with a little over a quarter, has the next-biggest proportion - and fastest growing displaced population overall, the agency said.

He noted that the United States was the largest donor to refugee programs and that Washington had contributed $1.5 billion to UNHCR previous year. More than half of these come from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

Other countries with large numbers of Myanmar refugees included Thailand (102,600), Malaysia (87,000), and India (15,600), said the report.

Contrary to public perceptions in the West, the vast majority of refugees (84 percent) are still being hosted in the developing world.

The Horn of Africa country now is ranked as the second most refugee-friendly African country only behind Uganda.

The impression that refugees mainly go to wealthy countries "is a complete myth", he said.

Threats to right to life like wars, violence and persecution have been noted by UNHCR to be the leading factors forcing people to leave their countries.

This post was syndicated from The Independent Uganda:.

"The worldwide neglect that you see here is matched nowhere else in the world", said Mr Grandi.

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