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S.Sudan refugees on the rise – UNHCR

Storyline:National News, World
Women and children wait to be registered prior to a food distribution carried out by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Thonyor, Leer state, South Sudan, February 26, 2017. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola


A report published Tuesday by the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has shown that South Sudan had the largest increase of people fleeing the country last year, with the number soaring from 1.4 million at the beginning of the year to 2.4 million by year end.

The UN Refugee Agency’s annual Global Trends survey also highlighted large-scale displacements in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and DR Congo among others.

According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, South Sudan was experiencing “a very bad emergency” which had apparently escaped the notice of both the government and the opposition who did not appear to be “taking seriously the desperate situation of their own people.”

The agency adds that a record 68.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to war, violence and persecution.

By the end of 2017, the number was nearly three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50-percent increase from the 42.7 million uprooted from their homes a decade ago.

“We are at a watershed, where success in managing forced displacement globally requires a new and far more comprehensive approach so that countries and communities aren’t left dealing with this alone,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

Mr Grandi however reveals that around 70 percent of that number is made up of people from just 10 countries.

“If there were solutions to conflicts in those 10 countries, or in some of them at least, that huge figure, instead of rising every year, could start going down,” he said, calling for more political will to halt the crises driving so many from their homes.

The UN Refugee agency observes that wars, violence and persecution uprooted record numbers of men, women and children worldwide last year, making a new global deal on refugees more critical than ever, according to a UNHCR report published today.

Leading displacement

The report adds that leading the displacement during the year was the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the war in South Sudan and the flight into Bangladesh from Myanmar of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees.


Syria’s seven-year conflict alone had, by the end of last year, pushed more than 6.3 million people out of the country, accounting for nearly one-third of the global refugee population.

Another 6.2 million Syrians are internally displaced.

Afghanistan’s refugee population grew by five percent during the year to 2.6 million people. The increase was due mainly to births and more Afghans being granted asylum in Germany, UNHCR said.

By the end of 2017, the agency estimates that there were some 40 million IDPs worldwide, down slightly from previous years, with Colombia, Syria and Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for the greatest numbers.

Another 25.4 million people — more than half of them children — were registered as refugees last year.