By the end of last year, more than 65 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced—enough to comprise the 21st-largest nation in the world, the UN Refugee Agency reports. According to CNN, it's more people than were forced from their homes in the aftermath of World War Two. The Washington Post puts it in even more relatable terms: In the time it just took to to inhale and exhale, two people were displaced. The "main driver" of the trend is conflict, the Post notes, adding that prolonged conflicts result in people being displaced for years at a time. "The willingness of nations to work together not just for refugees but for the collective human interest is what's being tested today, and it's this spirit of unity that badly needs to prevail," says UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. Among statistics from the UN report:
- 1 out of every 113 people worldwide are displaced.
- Of the 65.3 million displaced worldwide, 40.8 million are "internally displaced persons," meaning they are still in their countries of origin.
- The majority of the 21.3 million refugees identified by the UN are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Most of those have found refuge in poor, developing countries also at risk of conflict.
- 3.2 million people are seeking asylum in "industrialized countries."
- In 2015, just 201,400 refugees returned to their own countries. The majority of them were from Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, or the Central African Republic.
- Some 98,400 unaccompanied or separated minors sought asylum in 78 countries in 2015—the highest number on record.
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