More people are living displaced from their homes, than at any time since World War II
More people are displaced from their homes than at any period since World War II.
At the end of last year, the number of people living displaced from their home reached 65.6 million, a United Nations Global Trends report released Monday found.
The number had grown by more than 300,000 since 2015.
With long-standing wars rocking countries such as Syria and Iraq, the number of displaced people is nearly double what it was in 1997. In 2016 alone, the report found, 10.3 million people were newly displaced by conflict or persecution.
While political instability in the Middle East has drawn attention to the global refugee crisis, most displaced people have first tried to flee to other regions of their own country. Of those displaced at the end of last year, 40.3 million people were internally displaced, 22.5 million were living as refugees, and 2.8 million were seeking asylum, according to the report.
"By any measure this is an unacceptable number, and it speaks louder than ever to the need for solidarity and common purpose in preventing and resolving crises," the UN's high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, said in a statement, according to The New York Times .
The displaced population last year reached 65.6 million people. Graphic by Diana Yukari
While the ongoing conflict in Syria contributed to the largest number of displaced people at the end of last year, with 12 million, countries around the world had high numbers of people who were forced to leave their homes. Colombia came in directly behind Syria with 7.7 million forcibly displaced people at the end of last year, and it was followed by Afghanistan, with 4.7 million; Iraq, with 4.2 million; and South Sudan, with 3.3 million.
After decades of conflict between government forces and insurgency groups, Colombia had the highest number of internally displaced people of any country.
SOURCE: World Economic Forum