The global number of people who have fled their homes reached a new record of 65.6 million previous year as a major new refugee crisis emerged in South Sudan, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Monday. It found an average of 20 people were driven out from their homes every minute a year ago, the refugee agency said.
United Nations high Commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi said that the data on internally displaced persons testify to the discouraging failure of global diplomacy.
Syria and South Sudan were far from the only countries where people were being uprooted en masse, with Monday's report also pointing to large-scale displacement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan, just to name a few.
This figure includes refugee numbers and people displaced in their own countries.
Overall, the refugee population from the world's youngest country swelled 85 percent a year ago to reach 1.4 million by the end of 2016, the UNHCR report showed.
"By any measure this is an unacceptable number, and it speaks louder than ever to the need for solidarity and common goal in preventing and resolving crises", the United Nations high commissioner for refugees said in Geneva.
More than four million South Sudanese have been internally displaced and another two million have fled the country as refugees because of the four-year-old civil war.
Turkey hosts the most refugees at 2.9 million.
The majority of those displaced in the sub-Saharan country are children.
The figures are based on the agency's own data and on numbers reported by governments and non-governmental organizations.
Canada is contributing another $86 million to assist starvation and war ravaged South Sudan.
Global Trends is a statistical assessment of forced displacement, and as such a number of key developments in the refugee world in 2016 are not captured.
"But, Lebanon, another one of the neighboring countries, is the country that has the highest per capita ratio compared to the local population in terms of the number of refugees".
In contrast, almost of all of the South Sudanese refugees have sought protection in neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan.
It is a smaller increase than 2014-15, when the figure rose by five million, reports the BBC. In Germany, which vastly expanded its acceptance of people fleeing war from places like Syria, the number of refugees doubled to over 600,000 past year.
The biggest new factor last year was South Sudan, the world's youngest country, where the disastrous breakdown of peace efforts last July contributed to the outflow of 739,900 people by the end of the year. Tragically, 75,000 asylum claims were received from children travelling alone or separated from their parents.
"For a world in conflict, what is needed is determination and courage, not fear", Grandi said. Lebanon, where one in six people is a refugee, continued to host the largest number of refugees relative to its national population.
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