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Number of people forcibly displaced reaches an 18 year high, says UNHCR report

More people were displaced from their homes as at the end of last year than at any time since 1994 – with one person being displaced from their home every 4.1 seconds, according to the UNHCR’s latest Global Trends report.

The report, issued on Wednesday – the day before mark World Refugee Day, shows that there were more than 45.2 million people displaced from their homes at the end of 2012 compared with 42.5 million at the same time the previous year.

The Domiz Refugee Camp, located near Dohuk in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is home to thousands of Syrian refugees. PICTURE: UNHCR / B. Sokol

This figure includes 15.4 million refugees – 46 per cent of whom are below the age of 18 as well as 937,000 asylum seekers and 28.8 million people who have been forced to flee their homes but remained within the borders of their own country.

The data shows there were 7.6 million people newly displaced in 2012 including 1.1 million new refugees.

It also reveals that war remains the dominant factor in causing people to flee their homes with 55 per cent of all refugees coming from just five war-affected countries – Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria and Sudan.

Ant‚àö‚â•nio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees and head of UNHCR, describes the data as “alarming”.

He said the figures “reflect individual suffering on a huge scale” as well as the difficulties the international community face in preventing conflicts.

Afghanistan remains the largest source of refugees – 2,585,000 at the end of last year – followed by Somalia (1,136,000), Iraq (746,000), Syria (728,500) and Sudan (569,200) while the major hosting countries include Pakistan (1,638,500), Iran (868,200), Germany (589,700), Kenya (564,500) and Syria (476,500).

~ For a full copy of the report, see



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