UNHCR Report "Global Trends: World at War": Key Findings

UNHCR Report “Global Trends: World at War”: Key Findings

Question: The Office of the UNHCR released a report entitled Global Trends: Words at War. Highlight the basic findings of this report.

• Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees released a report entitled “Global Trends: World at War”

• This has outlined worldwide trends in forced displacement towards the close of 2014

• The report has declared an ongoing refugee crisis due to wars, conflicts and persecution is the worst in recorded history

• Over half of the world’s refugees are children

• Worldwide displacement due to war at the end of 2014 was around 59.5 million as against 51.2 million per year earlier and 37.5 million 10 years ago

• This increase is the largest leap in a single year in recorded history

• Internationally, one in 122 humans is now a refugee, internally displaced or in the process of seeking an asylum

• Scale of global forced displacement and response required is on a massive scale

• Every day last year on an average, 42,500 people become refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced

• This is a 4 fold increase in just 4 years

• In all the regions of the world, the number of refugees and internally displaced persons is on the rise

• During the past 5 years around 15 conflicts have erupted or reignited

• The regions include the following:

- 8 in Africa: Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Mali, Libya, DRC, NE Nigeria. South Sudan and Burundi
- 3 in Middle East: Iraq, Yemen and Syria
- 1 in Europe: Ukraine
- 3 in Asia: Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Pakistan

• Many of these crises have not been resolved and fresh displacement has been generated by them

• In 2014, only 126,800 refugees returned to their home countries

• This is the lowest number in 31 years
• Instability and conflict in Afghanistan, Somalia and other parts of the world means more number of internally displaced or refugees

• Dramatic rise in international conflicts on account of dangerous sea journeys including Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Mediterranean and SE Asia have also contributed to the rise in the number of refugees

• The report detailed that in 2014, 13.9 million persons were newly displaced which is 4 times the number of the previous year


• Number of refugees is up by 51% with a record 219,000 Mediterranean crossings, massive number of Syrian refugees in Turkey and the conflict in Ukraine.

• Turkey became the world’s top refugee host nation with 1.59 million refugees from Syria seeking asylum here

• The biggest volume of asylum applications however was in Germany and Sweden

• Forced displacement in Europe equalled 6.7 million towards the close of 2014 as against 4.4 million in 2013

• Largest proportion of these were Syrians in Turkey and Ukrainians in Russia

Middle East and North Africa

• Here, the number of war refugees rose to 19%

• Syria’s ongoing war has displaced 7.6 million people internally and 3.88 million people displaced in the surrounding region

• This has made the Middle East the largest source of refugees in the world

• Additionally, displacement of 2.6 million people in Iraq and 309,000 in Libya have contributed to the rise

Sub Saharan Africa

• Here, the number of refugees rose by as much as 17% from 2013 to 2014

• Numerous conflicts which Sub Saharan Africa include the following:

- Somalia
- Nigeria
- Sudan
- Central African Republic
• Sub Saharan Africa observed 3.7 million refugees and as many as 11.4 million internally displaced persons

• Of these, 4.5 million were newly displaced in 2014

• Nigeria’s refugee crisis was not counted due to lack of reliable estimates

• Ethiopia replaced Kenya as the biggest refugee hosting country in Africa and the fifth largest worldwide


• Here, the displacement was up by 31%.

• Asia has been regarded as one of the most refugee crises ridden regions of the world

• Total number of displaced persons rose to 9 million in 2014

• Displacement was also seen from Myanmar in 2014 including Rohingya from Rakhine state and Kachin and Northern Shah Regions

• The two top refugee hosting countries of the world, Iran and Pakistan retained their top spot


• Here the rise in forced displacement is pegged at 12% more than last year

• Number of Colombian refugees rose to 360,300 over a year from 36,3000

• Columbia continued to have the largest internally displaced persons with 6 million refugees and 137,000 Colombians newly displaced in 2014

• US saw more asylum claim with many fleeing gang violence in C. America

• There were 36,800 more asylum claims than 2013 representing a rise of 44%

Facts and Stats

• Internationally, there were 19.5 million refugees up from 16.7 million in 2013

• Around 38.2 million people were displaced within their own nations in 2014 as against 33.3 million in 2013

• Approximately 1.8 million persons were awaiting the result of claim for asylum up from 1.2 million in 2013

• Syria is home to the world’s largest population of internally displaced persons (7.6 million) and refugees (3.88 million at the close of 2014)

• Afghanistan at 2.59 million and Somalia at 1.1 million are the next largest source of refugees

• Around 9 in 10 refugees or 86% are in regions which are considered less developed economically
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