Ahead of World Refugee Day on Wednesday, a UN reports shows the number of displaced people has hit a 15-year high.
UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, puts the figure at 43.7 million in 2011, with more than half the number being children.
The study blames ‘humanitarian crises and the political situation in a number of countries’.
“We are in an really extremely difficult situation to be able to respond to the needs of so many people in dire circumstances. I can say that we are witnessing human suffering on an epic scale,” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres told euronews.
Numbers for last year do not include the amount of people who have migrated due to the Arab Spring uprising.
The crises in Syria and South Sudan is also expected increase the number of refugees.
In addition, the report shows the least amount of people in two decades eventually returned to their home countries in 2011.