The number of asylum seekers, refugees, and displaced people worldwide hit a new record of 65.3 million people in 2015, The Washington Post reported.
Most of the displaced people notably came from three countries: Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
2014 witnessed the highest number of refugees across the world since World War II, with 60 million people dislodged from their countries. In 2015, the numbers were surpassed by 5.3 million people. Europe struggled to deal with the overwhelming numbers of migrants arriving their shores in 2014; this number was bested by 10 percent in 2015, according to a report released on Monday by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
In the report, meant to coincide with World Refugee Day, the UNCHR revealed that if the 65.3 million displaced people were a country, it would be the 21st largest country worldwide. The numbers comprise of 40.8 million internally dislocated people, 23.1 million global refugees, and 3.2 million people seeking for asylum. This figure shows that one in every 113 people on the face of the earth is an asylum seeker or refugee.
The UNCHR has urged political leaders everywhere to do more to end conflicts and stop the widespread exodus of people from their homes. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi urged governments to take action.
“I hope that the message carried by those forcibly displaced reaches the leaderships. We need action, political action to stop conflicts; the message that they have carried is” ‘If you don’t solve problems, problems will come to you.'”
The UNCHR revealed that 24 people were displaced every 60 seconds of every day last year, amounting to 34,000 people every day; back in 2005, it was six people for every 60 seconds. The numbers have doubled since 1997 and rose sharply by an astronomical 50 percent in 2011 during the break out of the Syrian war and “Arab Spring.”
There has also been an increase in the number of people running from the violence in Central America to the U.S. and New Mexico. Around 20,900 people fled Central America in 2012, and in 2015 that number rose to 109,800.
In the face of millions of people entering into foreign lands, Grandi has called on countries to resist the xenophobia that is gradually rearing its head. The High Commissioner has also complained about fences erected in some countries that are used to herd displaced people together.
“Such European policies are spreading a negative example to the rest of the world. He pointed out that the immense influx of displaced people was not going to stop anytime soon, adding that “there is no Plan B for Europe in the long run, Europe will continue to receive people seeking asylum. Their numbers may vary…but it is inevitable.”
[Photo by Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images]