BEIRUT – The United Nations refugee agency says that at the end of last year, more than 50 million people have been forced from their homes worldwide, the highest figure of displaced since World War II.
The daunting number is also a stark reflection of the ongoing conflicts and persecutions from Syria to South Sudan. The number includes refugees and asylum-seekers who fled abroad as well as people displaced within their own countries.
The UNHCR's annual Global Trends Report released Friday in Beirut says 51.2 million have been forcibly displaced by the end of 2013, six million more than at the end of the previous year. The data is compiled from government, non-government partner organizations and UNHCR's own records.
Syria's civil war alone has forced 9 million people to flee their homes.