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The number of displaced people is the highest ever

Daily chart Many trails of tears The Economist


MORE than 50m people have been forced to flee from their homes by the end of 2013, the highest number since recording-keeping began. It marks the sharpest rise for decades, according to a report released today by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. There are now as many displaced people as the population of South Africa. About 16m people have crossed borders to throw themselves on the mercy of foreign states; they are refugees. The rest—a growing share of the total—are internally displaced people, trapped inside the country that made them homeless. Afghanis form the largest single group of refugees but the main explanation for the recent rise has been the war in Syria. The total is rising fast. In just the past two weeks, more than 300,000 people fled from Mosul, Iraq, after it was captured by extremists. With more unrest likely, it means a new, bitter record may be set this year.

Stashed in: The World, Middle East, Homeless, Refugees United

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The number of refugees in the world is higher than it has ever been. Wow.

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