5.5mn displaced by war over first half of 2014: UN

Thursday, January 08, 2015
[PHOTO: UNifeed]
New York:  The UN refugee agency has reported that war in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere had uprooted an estimated 5.5 million people during the first six months of 2014.

The economic, social and human cost of caring for refugees and the internally displaced is being borne mostly by poor communities, those who are least able to afford it, the agency said. 

Udo Janz, the director of UNHCR's New York office said the worldwide rise in the number of displaced persons was "unprecedented."

Janz said, "The latest report that the UNHCR just issued shows that the conflicts that are currently besetting us in the world have resulted in unprecedented rise in those forcibly displaced both internally – as internally displaced persons  as well as refugees in the neighbouring countries who bear the brunt of that burden inevitably."

Janz said some of the displacement proved deadly.

He said, "Some people are clearly are as desperate as taking to boats to reach safety further afield which has resulted in over 200 000 people crossing the Mediterranean or attempting to crossing the Mediterranean this year and over 4000 people drowning in the exercise. That is a figure we have not seen for a long time."
Janz said that with continuing wars, the displacement would continue.

He said, "As long as old conflicts don't die and new conflicts are adding to the burden, I think we are bounded to see an increase in a number of forcibly displaced in the world. Clearly, that stretches the capacity of the countries in the vicinity of the conflict states to an extent where now every fourth person in Lebanon for example is refugee from Syria and that stretch the capacity to the limit."

UNHCR's new "Mid-Year Trends 2014" report shows that of the 5.5 million who were newly displaced, 1.4 million fled across international borders becoming refugees, while the rest were displaced within their own countries. -UNifeed
Next Post »