On World Refugee Day 68.5 million people remain uprooted

On World Refugee Day 68.5 million people remain uprooted
By Daniel Bellamy with Reuters
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The UN refugee agency on Tuesday said that nearly 69 million people who have fled war, violence and persecution were forcibly displaced last year, a record for the fifth straight year.

UNHCR said its figures debunked the flawed perception among some that the refugee crisis has affected more developed countries in the "Global North." It said 85 percent of refugees are in developing countries, many of them "desperately poor."

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said the continued crises in places like South Sudan and the Decmocratic Republic of Congo, as well as the exodus of Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar that started last year, raised the overall figure of forced displacements in 2017 to 68.5 million.

He explained that the UNHCR is working to resettle migrants to countries outside Libya, to lessen the burden on transit states.

For the fourth year running, Turkey was again the country with the largest number of refugees - mostly Syrians - at 3.5 million at the end of 2017.

The United States received the most new individual applications for asylum last year, at nearly 332,000.

Germany was second at more than 198,000.

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