Refugees record 65.6 million globally as South Sudan exodus soars


- More than half of refugees globally come from three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

In 2016, 22.5 million refugees fled their home country - the highest number since the agency was founded in 1950.

At the end of 2016, there were some 40.3 million IDPs in the world, down slightly from 40.8 million a year earlier, with Syria, Iraq and Colombia accounting for the greatest numbers.

UNHCR is also running projects in Burkina Faso, to establish a dairy micro-enterprise owned by women's groups to supply milk to refugee families, in Ethiopia, to provide clean water for 95,000 in refugees and host populations, and in Democratic Republic of Congo to provide sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response programs. Syria, Iraq, and the still very significant displacement inside Colombia were the biggest internal displacement situations, nonetheless the problem of internal displacement is a worldwide one and accounts for nearly two thirds of the global forced displacement total.

South Sudan, the world´s fastest growing refugee crisis, has by now forced 1.9 million people to flee across the border.

"Turkey continues to be for the third consecutive year, the largest hosting country", said Grandi. That's 300,000 more people than the year before. Most fled the conflict in South Sudan.

There are plans to expand the programme and open similar sites throughout the country to give assistance and hope to millions of displaced people, although both hope and cash are in short supply.

The latest annual global trends study from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reports that one person was forced to leave their home every three seconds in 2016. The total figure includes refugees, asylum-seekers and people uprooted inside their own countries.

Among displaced people living there is Anjelina, who fled her home with her three children two years ago, first settling in one of the protection sites. The report attributed that slight reduction in part to people who had returned to their homes, offsetting the number of new people who had fled.

"Tragically, 75,000 asylum claims were received from children travelling alone or separated from their parent". There were another 2.8 million asylum seekers, the report said.

- Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees (2.9 million) followed by Pakistan (1.4 mln) and Lebanon (1 mln).

"The richest and most stable countries from Europe to the United States do their uttermost to keep refugees away".

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.

"Although these figures represent small shifts compared to the previous year. the relatively stable figures mask a very unstable situation", agency chief Filippo Grandi said.

The total number represents the enormous population in need of protection by global agencies and states, according to the UNHCR.