The number of “forcibly displaced people” rose to 68.5 million last year, according to the UN refugee agency reporting. 16.2 million people were newly driven from their homes in 2017. 44,400 each day. 1 every 2 seconds.
“International responsibility-sharing for displaced people has utterly collapsed,” said Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland. “Rich countries are building walls against families fleeing war, at the same time as less money is available for aid to people in conflict areas.”
In the West, the number of refugees fleeing violence in Central America grew 58% last year as 294,000 people sought asylum. The deportation of Central Americans by the US is making the situation worse.
“The people who are coming are saying that the level of violence is brutal – they are basically confined to their own houses because there is a lack of freedom. It is very dangerous to go to school, to go to church, to move around,” said Francesca Fontanini of UNHCR. “They are living in very traumatized and violent circumstances.”
Three countries – Uganda, Bangladesh, and Turkey – currently shelter half of the global refugee population.
Two Thirds of the world’s refugees come from five countries:
- Syria: More than 3.5 million people displaced by the violence there have sought refuge in Turkey
- Afghanistan: 2.7 million registered and undocumented Afghan refugees have fled to Pakistan where they face mounting pressures to return home
- South Sudan: nearly 4 million people have been forced to relocate due to conflict
- Myanmar: Since last August, more than 668,000 Rohingya refugees – about 400,000 of them children – have fled Myanmar for camps over the Bangladesh border.
- Somalia: 2.1 million are internally displaced within the country due to conflict, climate change, and violence; 870,000 Somalis are registered as refugees in the Horn of Africa and Yemen