Saturday, June 21, 2014 9:29 am
United Nations, June 20, 2014 (NAN) A UN report revealed that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had for the first time in post-World War II era, exceeded 50 million people.
António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in New York on Friday, said in the report to mark the World Refugee Day that the Syrian war had driven nine million people from their homes by the end of last year.
He said millions of individuals were forcibly displaced in other parts of the world, notably
in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Mali and the border area between South Sudan and Sudan.
He stated that by the end of 2013, an estimated 51.2 million people worldwide were considered to be forcibly displaced due to prosecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations.
These, he noted, included 16.7 million refugees, 33.3 million IDPs and close to 1.2 million individuals whose asylum applications had not yet been approved.
“We are seeing the immense costs of not ending wars, of failing to resolve or prevent conflicts,” the high commissioner for refugees said.
He added that “peace is today dangerously in deficit. Humanitarians can only help as palliative, but political solutions are vitally needed.
“Without this, the alarming levels of conflict and mass suffering that is reflected in these figures will continue.
“The global total of 51.2 million forcibly displaced represents a huge number of people in need of help.
“This has implications both for foreign aid budgets in donor nations and the absorption and hosting capacities of countries on the front lines of refugee crises.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that June 20 each year is set aside to mark the World Refugee Day.
The event was to honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who were forced to flee their land under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.