Refugee total hits highest ever level of 65 million – UN

The number of people displaced by conflict is at the highest level ever recorded, the UN refugee agency has said.

It estimates that 65.3 million people were either refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced at the end of 2015, an increase of five million in a year.

This represents one in every 113 people on the planet, according to the UN agency.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee chief has said that a worrying “climate of xenophobia” has taken hold in Europe as it struggles to cope with the migrant crisis.

The influx of people, the biggest since World War Two, has led to greater support for far-right groups and controversial anti-immigration policies.

In its annual report marking World Refugee Day, the UN said it was the first time the number of refugees worldwide had passed the 60 million mark.

More than half – 54pc – of the total number are people from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.

According to the report, 65.3 million people are refugees, asylum seekers or displaced, with 12.4m of those newly displaced by conflict or persecution in 2015. It also revealed that 24 people a minute were forced to flee in 2015, and that half of all refugees are children under 18.

The UN refugee chief said European leaders needed to do more to co-ordinate policies and to combat negative stereotypes about refugees: “Those who do the opposite, who stir up public opinion against refugees and migrants, have a responsibility in creating a climate of xenophobia that is very worrying in today’s Europe,” Filippo Grandi told reporters.


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One Response to Refugee total hits highest ever level of 65 million – UN

  1. neofenian says:

    If half of refugees are children, then why are about 70% of “refugees” coming into Europe young men of working age. Oh yeah, it’s because they are economic migrants masquerading as refugees.


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