Global displacement hits historic high of over 70 mln people: UNHCR

ADDIS ABABA: June 19 (Ethiopian Informer) – The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, on Wednesday said the global displacement figures have hit a historic high of over 70 million people.

UNHCR, in statement issued on Wednesday as part of this year’s edition of the World Refugee Day commemoration event, stressed that the World Refugee Day 2019 came at a time “when global displacement figures have hit a historic high of over 70 million people.”

Data from UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report released on Wednesday also revealed that almost 70.8 million people are now forcibly displaced.

“To put this in perspective, this is double the level of 20 years ago, 2.3 million more than a year ago, and corresponds to a population between that of Thailand and Turkey,” the UN refugee agency said.

Nearly 26 million are refugees, people forced to flee their country because of conflict, war or persecution, including over 900,000 of them who are generously hosted by Ethiopia, according to UNHCR.

UNHCR also disclosed that the main refugee populations in Ethiopia, which is Africa’s second refugee hosting nation next to Uganda, are from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan.

It also noted that the World Refugee Day, which annually commemorate on June 20, “is a moment during the year to reflect on the fact that millions of families are living far from their homes, leaving everything behind- because of war or persecution.”

“It is also a moment to recognize the Ethiopian people and government as well as the communities in the different refugee-hosting regions for receiving, welcoming and providing protection to refugees for a long time,” UNHCR said.

World Refugee Day 2019 is being marked after the UN General Assembly agreed to the Global Compact on Refugees and following the adoption of Ethiopia’s progressive refugee law.

The UNHCR said that the new progressive refugee law in Ethiopia, which focuses on promoting refugees’ self-reliance and investment in essential services, “benefit both refugees and Ethiopian nationals.”

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