A Record 65.6 Million People Are Now Displaced Worldwide, Says UNHCR

Syria has 12-million displaced people - the highest number in the world.

While people continued to flee in record numbers, the report found that previous year around one half million refugees returned home and about 6.5 million internally displaced people went back to their places of origin although "many did so in less than ideal circumstances and facing uncertain prospects".

Ten of thousands of people have been killed and over two million displaced since violence broke out in the South Sudan capital, Juba in mid-December 2013.

Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) that tracks displacement across the globe said the system protecting refugees will collapse "if we do not step up our support to countries like Uganda".

The report defines refugees as those forced to leave their homes for other countries.

This figure includes refugee numbers and people displaced in their own countries.

And almost 70 years after Palestinians first fled today's Israel, some 5.3 million Palestinians are now living as refugees - the highest level ever recorded, UNHCR said.

The UN high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, stated: "By any measure this is an unacceptable number". Twelve million people in the country were forced to abandon their homes in 2016 - that's more than half of the country's population.

Data show that the Syrian conflict has generated the largest numbers of displaced people worldwide, with 12 million people, or almost two-thirds of the population, either internally displaced or living as refugees, mainly in five neighboring countries - Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt.

Turkey hosted the most refugees with 2.9 million people.

The internal strife in South Sudan has become the source of the fastest-growing displacement crisis in the world.

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.

Saltmarsh said the number of refugees is placing an enormous burden on the nations playing host.

Grandi urged South Sudan's officials to ensure safety for its people, saying that now more than ever, "authorities have a greater responsibility to provide security".

Worldwide, most refugees - 84 per cent - were in low- or middle-income countries as of end 2016, with one in every three (4.9 million people) being hosted by the least developed countries.

Syria alone has sent more than 5.5 million people seeking safety in other countries, including 825,000 just past year, making it the world's biggest producer of refugees.

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau recalled seeing the woman in a northern remote region of South Sudan during a four-day visit that wrapped up Monday.

The figures are based on the agency's own data and on numbers reported by governments and non-governmental organizations.

"The richest and most stable countries from Europe to the U.S. do their uttermost to keep refugees away". Only Syria witnessed a larger number of new refugees, 824,000. "Borders must be kept open, but we can not expect a country like Uganda to shoulder the entire bill", said Egeland.

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