800,000 forced to flee in 2011: UNHCRListen /
According to a report released on Monday by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, 2011 was a record year for forced displacement.
The Global Trends Report says 800 thousand people had to flee their homes, more than at any time since 2000, explaining that a string of major humanitarian crises led to the exodus.
Civil strife in late 2010 in Côte d'Ivoire was quickly followed by disruptions in Libya, Somalia, Sudan and elsewhere. In all, over four million people were newly displaced, with a full 800,000 of these fleeing their countries and becoming refugees.
While UNHCR chief Antonio Guteress called the trend "human suffering on an epic scale," he noted the international protection system was able to respond:
“I would like to underline the fact that all neighbouring countries of the crisis countries have kept their borders open. “
Worldwide, over 42.5 million people ended 2011 either as refugees, internally displaced persons or were in the process of seeking asylum.
The Global Trends report is UNHCR's main annual report on the state of forced displacement.