15 year high in population of world’s refugees

Syrian refugees

Syrian refugees

43.7 million refugees worldwide

According the UN high commission for refugees, the number of people displaced by force around the world has reached a 15 year high.

The reports for 2010 trends approximated 43.7 million refugees and displaced people within their own country at the end of last year by events such as natural disasters and war.  The total was exclusive of the new wave of migration set in place by the Arab spring unrest.  Over 50% of the total figure were children.

The majority of refugees and displaced people suffer survival in countries that are ill equipped to cater for their needs.  80% of the world’s refugee population are hosted by developing countries, with Pakistan leading the way with 1.9 million.  Iran and Syria follow closely behind, with over a million.  Germany comes in fourth with 600,000 displaced persons, and the UK has 238,000 registered refugees, coming in at tenth place.  The UK also has 26,000 fewer registered refugees than the US.

“humanitarian crises and the political situation in a number of countries”

Although the report reveals a minor depression in the number of worldwide refugees since 2009, it also shows a fall in the number of returning refugees to 197,600– the lowest drop in twenty years.  The report blames “humanitarian crises and the political situation in a number of countries” for the number of long term refugees in these “protracted situations”.

“Richer countries have to step into to help”

Mans Nyberg, UNHCR spokesman has stated that difficulties lie in isolating certain crises that have led to a boost in the growing number of displaced people.  He underlined that industrialised countries need to be doing more to take their fair share of the burden:  “Europe has the impression that the industrialised countries are being flooded.  But the flood is into poorer countries.  They can’t cope.  That’s why richer countries have to step into to help”.

The report has also revealed that the Fukushima tsunami in Japan this March led to the displacement of 590,000 Japanese people.  It also emerged that in September last year, Japan became the first Asian country to accept refugees and housed 18 families from Myanmar as part of an official resettlement programme.


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