World
UN warns of ‘record high’ 60 million displaced amid expanding global conflicts

19 Jun 2015

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New York, Jun 19: The international community is experiencing a dramatic shift in the situation facing the world’s refugees as a global surge in war, conflict and persecution has caused a record number of people to flee their homes in search of safety, the United Nations refugee agency reported on Thursday.

 According to data gathered by Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) over the course of 2014, the number of people forcibly displaced during the reporting year swelled to a staggering 59.5 million people compared to the 51.2 million from the previous year. 

 
The figures, collected by the UN agency for its latest Global Trends: World at War, suggest that one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. If this were the population of a country, says UNHCR, it would be the world’s 24th largest.

“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres declared in apress release issued earlier today and marking the report\'s release.

“It is terrifying that on the one hand there is more and more impunity for those starting conflicts, and on the other there is seeming utter inability of the international community to work together to stop wars and build and preserve peace,” he added.

In a detailed analysis exploring the range of conflicts that have given rise to the current mass diaspora of refugees, the UNHCR report notes that in the past five years, at least 15 conflicts have erupted or reignited.

Photo: The Italian Coastguard/Massimo Sestini



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