Amnesty urges donors to give more to South Sudan refugees

Posted June 20, 2017

Along with the 6.3 million Syrians displaced inside the country, these numbers show that a almost two thirds of all Syrians have been forced from their homes, the report said.

Up to 65.6 million people were displaced due to war and persecution at the beginning of 2017, according to new displacement figures launched by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Monday. There were another 2.8 million asylum seekers, the report said.

Almost all of the biggest refugee hosts are developing countries, the UNHCR report shows. People internally displaced are defined as still living in their home country, but have nowhere to actually live.

The total refugee population - those seeking safety across worldwide borders - was about 22.5 million, the highest number since the UNHCR was established in 1950 following WWII.

But UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said it was still a disheartening failure of worldwide diplomacy. More than half of these come from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

According to the report, refugee numbers were the highest ever in 2016, at 22.5 million, with the majority of people coming from Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

- Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees (2.9 million) followed by Pakistan (1.4 mln) and Lebanon (1 mln).

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

It also illustrates the need for countries and communities supporting refugees and other displaced people to be robustly resourced and supported - the absence of which can create instability, have consequences for life-saving humanitarian work, or lead to secondary displacement.

He noted that the United States was the largest donor to refugee programs and that Washington had contributed $1.5 billion to UNHCR a year ago.

UNHCR produces its Global Trends report annually based on its own data, the data it receives from its partner the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, and data it receives from governments.

The UNHCR said there have been annual increases to the global displacement total for the past five years, but while the 2016 total increased, the rate at which displacement grew that year slowed.

While Grandi said ensuring people were safe was important, he warned against setting up "kingdoms of dependency" like the sprawling camps for Somali refugees in Dadaab in northern Kenya that have become permanent settlements.

At the end of 2016, there were some 40.3 million IDPs in the world, down slightly from 40.8 million a year earlier, with Syria, Iraq and Colombia accounting for the greatest numbers.

Amnesty said only 18 percent of the required funding for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda had been met as of May.

"We have to do better for these people".

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. At least 75,000 asylum claims were received from an unaccompanied child.

Turkey, for the third consecutive year, has hosted the largest number of refugees worldwide, a new United Nations report has said.

This huge imbalance reflects several things including the lack of consensus internationally when it comes to hosting refugees, and the proximity of many poor countries to regions of conflict.