Global migrant tide swells to record 65 mn: UN
The number of refugees and others fleeing their homes worldwide has hit a new record, spiking to 65.3 million people by the end of 2015, the United Nations said on Monday. Europe’s high-profile migrant crisis, its worst since World War II, is just one part of a growing tide of human misery led by Palestinians, Syrians and Afghans. Globally, approaching one percent of humanity has been forced to flee. “This is the first time that the threshold of 60 million has been crossed,” the UN refugee agency said.
The figures, released on World Refugee Day, underscore twin pressures fuelling an unprecedented global displacement crisis. As conflict and persecution force growing numbers of people to flee, anti-migrant political sentiment has strained the will to resettle refugees, said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi.
“The willingness of nations to work together not just for refugees but for the collective human interest is what’s being tested today,” he said.
The number of people displaced globally rose by 5.8 million through 2015, according to the UN figures. Counting Earth’s population at 7.349 billion, the UN said that one out of every 113 people on the planet was now either internally displaced or a refugee. They now number more than the populations of Britain or France, the agency said, adding that it is “a level of risk for which UNHCR knows no precedent.”