Millions more people were forced to flee their homes in the first half of 2014, a new report from the UN’s Refugee Agency UNHCR has revealed.
UNHCR estimates that 5.5 million people became newly uprooted during the first six months of 2014, with 1.4 million fleeing across international borders and becoming refugees, while the rest were displaced within their own countries.
The number of people being helped by UNHCR across the world reached 46.3 million by mid-2014 – some 3.4 million more than at the end of 2013 and a new record high.
Syrians are now the biggest group under UNHCR’s care, overtaking Afghans, who had held that position for more than three decades.
THE REFUGEE CRISIS IN NUMBERS
Countries of origin for largest refugee populations
- Sudan and South Sudan
- Democratic Republic of Congo
Countries hosting highest number of refugees
The UK is home to fewer than 1% of the world’s refugees.
Refugee Council Head of Advocacy Dr Lisa Doyle said: “These figures paint a grim picture of a conflict ridden world which is fuelling the greatest refugee crisis witnessed in recent memory.
“We cannot close our eyes and pretend we do not see the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding before us. This isn’t a crisis developing countries are able to shoulder unaided; Britain and others must step forward and help share the responsibility for protecting vulnerable refugees by offering them alternative routes to safety.”