Refugees and internally displaced reach highest levels in 20 years: Ban

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Pedicab drivers in Mindanao, the Philippines, support World Refugee Day. Many of them are internally displaced. © UNHCR Cotabato

There are now more than 45 million refugees and internally displaced people in the world – the highest level in nearly 20 years, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message marking World Refugee Day. Last year alone, someone was forced to abandon their home every four seconds.

And, War remains the dominant cause, with the crisis in Syria a leading instance of major displacement. The Secretary-General says more than half of all refugees listed in a new report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees come from just five war-affected countries: Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. And, major new displacements have also been occurring in Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Secretary-General said there is a growing imbalance in the burden of hosting refugees, with poor countries taking in the vast majority of the world's uprooted people. Developing countries host 81 per cent of the world's refugees, compared to 70 per cent a decade ago.

He said finding durable solutions for the displaced will require more solidarity and burden-sharing by the international community.

On World Refugee Day, Secretary-General Ban calls on the international community to intensify efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts, and to help achieve peace and security so that families can be reunited and refugees can return home.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’17″

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