UNHCR reports biggest increase of forced displacement ever seen in a single year

UNHCR released its annual Global Trends report, covering displacement that occurred during 2014. The report says the number of people forcibly displaced was 59.5 million at the end of 2014, the highest level ever recorded.

From Elisa Mason’s Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog:

In the lead-up to World Refugee Day on June 20, UNHCR has released the 2014 edition of its Global Trends report. Subtitled “World at War,” the report “shows a sharp escalation in the number of people forced to flee their homes, with 59.5 million people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago. The increase since 2013 was the highest ever seen in a single year.”

Where is the displacement occurring?
“In the past five years, at least 15 conflicts have erupted
or reignited
: Eight in Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, northeastern Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and this year in Burundi); three in the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, and Yemen); one in Europe (Ukraine) and three in Asia (Kyrgyzstan, and in several areas of Myanmar and Pakistan).”

Who is being displaced?
Syria is the world’s biggest producer of both internally displaced people (7.6 million) and refugees (3.88 million at the end of 2014). Afghanistan (2.59 million) and Somalia (1.1 million) are the next biggest refugee source countries.” …”Alarmingly, over half the world’s refugees are children.”

Which countries receive the most refugees?
“For the first time, Turkey became the largest refugee-hosting country worldwide, with 1.59 million refugees. Turkey was followed by Pakistan (1.51
million), Lebanon (1.15 million), the Islamic Republic of Iran (982,000), Ethiopia (659,500), and Jordan (654,100). …Developing regions hosted 86
per cent of the world’s refugees
– at 12.4 million persons, the highest value in more than two decades. The Least Developed Countries provided asylum to
3.6 million refugees or 25 per cent of the global total.” (FM-CAB, emphasis added by Elisa Mason, licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA)

The report can be accessed at the following link:

UNHCR: Global Trends 2014. World At War,18 June 2015

For numbers on asylum decisions in the European Union in 2014, see the following two EUROSTAT publications:

EUROSTAT: Asylum decisions in the EU [82/2015], 12 May 2015

EUROSTAT: Asylum applicants and first instance decisions on
asylum applications: 2014 [Data in focus 3/2015], 20 March 2015

“EU Member States granted protection to more than 185 000 asylum seekers in 2014 [...]

The largest group of beneficiaries of protection status in the EU in 2014 remained citizens of Syria (68 300 persons or 37% of the total number of persons granted protection status in the 27 EU Member States for which data are available), followed at a distance by citizens of Eritrea (14 600 or 8%) and those of Afghanistan (14 100 or 8%). Together, these three citizenships accounted for more than half of all persons granted protection status in the EU in 2014.

Syrians, whose number has almost doubled compared with 2013 and quadrupled since 2012, represented in 2014 the largest group granted protection status in nearly half of the Member States. Of the 68 300 Syrians granted protection status in the EU, more than 60% were recorded in two Member States: Germany (25 700) and Sweden (16 800). Of the 14 600 Eritreans granted protection, more than three-quarters were registered in three EU Member States: Sweden (5 300), the Netherlands (3 600) and the United Kingdom (2 300). Of the 14 100 Afghans, 5 000 were granted protection status in Germany and 2 400 in Italy.” (EUROSTAT, 19 June 2014)

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