South Sudan has world's fastest growing number of displaced

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 20, 2017

South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, descended into war again in December 2013, leaving tens of thousands dead and more than three million people displaced.

The number of South Sudanese who fled overseas rose by 64 per cent to 1.4 million in the second half of a year ago.

Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) that tracks displacement across the globe said the system protecting refugees will collapse "if we do not step up our support to countries like Uganda".

The report notes that most refugees - 84 percent - are in developing countries, half of them children.

Eight-year-old unaccompanied minor Issa Aj sits alone in Fufore camp for internally displaced persons in Adamawa State, north-east Nigeria.

The total figure includes 40.3 million people uprooted within the borders of their own countries, about 500,000 fewer than in 2015.

Refugee numbers worldwide have reached 22.5 million, which the report notes "is the highest ever seen".

"By any measure this is an unacceptable number", said UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi, urging "solidarity and a common objective in preventing and resolving crisis".

South Sudan's civil war, which began in December 2013, has left tens of thousands dead and forced a total of 3.7 million people from their homes - almost a third of the population.

Syria accounts for by far the largest share of total displaced persons worldwide, with a total of 12 million people displaced internally or living outside the country as refugees.

According to the report, Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees at 2.9 million, followed by Pakistan, and then Lebanon.

South Sudan has the fastest-growing displaced population in the world after peace efforts in the country fizzled out in July.

Ongoing crises in sub-Saharan Africa have resulted in large and sudden population displacements, which results in neighboring countries opening their borders to those fleeing conflict.

Ahead of a United Nations-backed summit here aimed at raising awareness of the refugee crisis, Uganda said it needs Dollars 2 billion to look after the refugees and host communities.

UNHCR produces its Global Trends report annually ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20. Last year, 10.3 million people were newly displaced.

"We have to do better for these people", Grandi said.

Relative to its population, Lebanon cares for the largest number of refugees with one in six, followed by Jordan with one in 11, and then Turkey where one in 28 people is a refugee.

She also visited Jonglei region in the northeast of the country, where she observed the World Food Programme's humanitarian relief operations and spoke with local civilians, especially women, affected by the crisis, Global Affairs said in a statement.

Children under 18 make up just over half the refugee population. Some 37 countries together accepted 189,300 refugees for resettlement. "If we fail, we will be faced with a more unstable world, where the alarming high displacement figures will only continue to increase", said Egeland.

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