Record 65.6 Million People Displaced Worldwide, Says UN

However, it is still much less dramatic leap than in 2014-2015, when the number of people forced to flee their homes, has increased by five million.

A record 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced across the world and the global refugee population was also the highest on record - 22.5 million - at the end of 2016, according to the agency.

More than 737,000 people fled the conflict in South Sudan a year ago.

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said the number of displaced people was unacceptable.

Around half a million other refugees were able to return to their home countries, and about 6.5 million internally displaced people to their areas of origin - although many did so in less than ideal circumstances and facing uncertain prospects.

Almost two-thirds of this total are people who have been forcibly displaced within their own country.

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.

Germany, the USA, Italy and Turkey received the highest number of asylum applications in 2016, with more than 2 million claims lodged. More than half of these come from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

Turkey, which has taken in the largest number of Syrians, to a total of 2.9 million at the end of 2015.

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The UN refugee chief also voiced alarm over the rapidly deteriorating situation in South Sudan, which he said was now the world's "fastest growing refugee crisis and displacement crisis".

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.

The Geneva Convention is a a United Nations agreement that the UK is signed up to.

The information is contained in the UNHCR's latest Global Trends report which is a survey of the state of displacement internationally. The next highest number of refugees come from Afghanistan, followed by South Sudan, Somalia, and Sudan.

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

While in Bentiu, the High Commissioner also visited a new site where hundreds of displaced people have been given small plots of land to build more permanent shelters, as well as supply kits that include solar lamps, cooking supplies and soap.

War, violence and persecution worldwide are causing more people than ever to be forcibly displaced, according to a report published today by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Evacuees make bread inside a refugee camp in Erbil, Iraq, for people who fled from Mosul due to fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants. The country allows refugees to work and travel freely, access Ugandan social services and gives them a plot of land to live on, and another to farm. The war in Syria, now in its seventh year, has created a total of 5.5 million refugees as of 2016.

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