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More than 50 million people displaced worldwide, largest number since World War II

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Iraqis who have fled the violence in their hometown of Mosul unload their car at Khazir refugee camp outside of Irbil, 217 miles (350 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, June 16, 2014. Sunni militants captured a strategic city along the highway to Syria on Monday, moving closer to their goal of linking areas under their control on both sides of the border. The al-Qaida breakaway group leading the push in Iraq also is fighting in the civil war next door in Syria where it controls territory abutting the Iraqi border.(AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

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.