UNHCR: 65.3m people forcibly displaced worldwide in 2015
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – 65.3 million people have been displaced in 2015 with an average of 24 people each minute, according to UNHCR on Monday.
On June 20, World Refugee Day, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) revealed that at the end of 2015, 65.3 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes.
The Commissioner added that the recent figure is the highest ever number on record.
In an interview with Kurdistan24, Sandra Black, the official spokesperson of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), stated that there are over 3.3 million displaced persons in Iraq.
Sandra Black, the official spokesperson of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in an interview with Kurdistan24. June 20, 2016. (Photo: Kurdistan24)
“There are many reasons for their displacement, but the main reason is the violence in the country,” Black said, regarding the displaced persons in Iraq.
“Over 85,000 people have fled from the city of Fallujah and moved to other places around the area,” she added.
Black also discussed the refugee victims who tried to pass the Aegean Sea and enter European countries. She said that in 2016, over 2,800 refugees have died at sea, aiming to escape from violence and seek a better life in Europe.
Black noted that IOM works in cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government of Iraq to provide humanitarian aid to the displaced persons in the country.
She noted that the organization pays particular attention to those who are currently moving from Islamic State (IS) controlled territories.
The UNHCR report shows an increase of 5.8 million compared to 2014 where the number of displaced people worldwide was 59.5 million.
“If these 65.3 million persons were a nation, they would make up the 21st largest in the world,” read the UNHCR report.
The report also explains that out of 65.3 million displaced people, 21.3 million were refugees and 16.1 million under UNHCR’s mandate.
Additionally, 5.2 million were Palestinian refugees registered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), 40.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), and 3.2 million were asylum-seekers.
The Kurdistan Region is home to almost two million refugees and IDPs. Some of them fled from Syria while the rest came from other parts of Iraq since the emergence of IS.
“More than half (54 percent) of all refugees worldwide came from just three countries: the Syrian Arab Republic (4.9 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million), and Somalia (1.1 million),” according to UNHCR, stating that only 201,400 refugees have returned to their homes.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany