The number of refugees around the globe is the highest it has been since World War II, according to a report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. More than 50 million people are either internally displaced or have fled their homelands. The war in Syria and turmoil in Africa are behind much of the increase.As the BBC notes, some refugees have fled recent, well-publicized conflicts, while others have been displaced for decades and have gone largely unnoticed by the world:
Afghanistan still accounts for the world’s largest number of refugees, and neighbouring Pakistan is host to more refugees than any other country, with an estimated 1.6 million.Around the world, thousands of refugees from almost forgotten crises have spent the best part of their lives in camps. Along Thailand’s border with Burma, 120,000 people from Burma’s Karen minority have lived in refugee camps for more than 20 years.
The civil war in Syria has displaced 6.5 million people internally, while others have poured into neighboring countries:
Throughout the Syrian crisis, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have kept their borders open. Lebanon now hosts more than a million Syrian refugees, meaning a quarter of its total population is Syrian. The pressure on housing, education and health is causing tensions in a country which itself has a recent history of conflict.
With the promise of more Middle Eastern chaos to come, does anyone think these numbers will decrease?