The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has for the first time in the post-World War II era exceeded 50 million people.
UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report, published today, shows 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2013, six million more than in 2012.
According to UNHCR, this massive increase was driven mainly by the war in Syria, and conflict in in Central African Republic and South Sudan.
Refugee Council Chief Executive Maurice Wren said: “The world is in the grip of a refugee crisis of catastrophic proportions which we ignore at our peril.
“We should not fool ourselves into believing this is someone else’s problem; this is a global crisis which requires global solutions, and it’s essential the UK plays its full role.
“The UK and wider EU must stand in solidarity with developing countries who host the majority of the world’s refugees by offering another path to safety through increasing the number of resettlement places we offer.
“For some children, a resettlement place in the UK will give them a safe place to sleep; access to running water and simply, the hope of a better future. We must not deny them that.”