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Refugee numbers rise in Africa – report
June 20, 2016, 1:12 pm

A group of displaced children, many from South Sudan, attend the first day of summer school at a refugee center in Cairo, Egypt on Monday [Xinhua]

A group of displaced children, many from South Sudan, attend the first day of summer school at a refugee center in Cairo, Egypt on Monday [Xinhua]


A new report titled Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2015 released by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) published today to mark World Refugee Day paints a grim picture of displacement in Africa.

While the refugee crises in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Iraq appear to have captured the media’s attention, with particular emphasis on the dire voyages desperate peoples make across the dangerous Mediterranean waters, there are yet millions of people in Africa facing displacement and dwindling resources to help them.

According to the report, the number of displaced peoples in Africa has steadily increased due to conflicts in South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria and other countries.

In 2014, the number of displaced peoples had reached 14.5 million but that increased to 16 million within a year.

The total number of displaced and refugee persons marked a record in 2015, the UN says, at 65 million people.

This means that roughly one in every 113 global citizens has been forced to leave home due to conflict.

The UN says that more than 65 per cent of the 65 million are internally displaced, and more than 50 per cent of the total number of refugees are children.

One third are considered refugees, the UN says.

That means that more than 32.5 million children around the world have been displaced by war and strife.

In Africa, the highest number of displaced persons came from Somalia, the report revealed; more than 1.1 million people had fled the fighting between the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab and African Union forces trying to stabilize the country.

Many Somalis fled the wars in their country to find refuge in neighboring Ethiopia which hosted the largest number of displaced and refugees (more than 730,000) in 2015.

Kenya is the second country with the largest number of displaced persons and refugees, hosting 554,000.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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