Canada contributes $86M more to assist South Sudan famine, civil war crisis

Posted June 20, 2017

Devastating conflicts, violence and persecution in Syria, South Sudan and elsewhere left a record 65.6 million people uprooted from their homes by the end of 2016, the United Nations said Monday.

One in every 113 people around the world has been forcibly displaced and needs protection, writes Farren Collins.

Third is asylum seekers, people who have fled their country and are seeking worldwide protection as refugees.

Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees said, "It is an extremely moveable situation, an extremely dynamic situation, which reflects in turn conflicts that continue to affect mostly and primarily and very violently civilians".

About 40,000 South Sudanese refugees have entered Uganda every month over the previous year, 86 per cent of them women and children, said the World Refugee Council, a new organization run by Canada's Centre of International Governance Innovation.

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.

And almost 70 years after Palestinians first fled today's Israel, some 5.3 million Palestinians are now living as refugees - the highest level ever recorded, UNHCR said.

"By any measure, this is an unacceptable number, and it speaks louder than ever to the need for solidarity and common objective in preventing and resolving crises", he said.

A third (4.9 million people) are hosted by the world's least developed countries.

Syria's neighbours Turkey and Lebanon have taken in some 2.9 million and 1 million people, respectively, while Pakistan hosts 1.4 million mostly Afghan refugees.

The report warns that although the growth in the number of displaced people has slowed for the first time in recent years, large numbers of people are on the move.

The new total of 65.6 million people displaced from their homes is 300,000 higher than the 2015 number, which had been the highest since World War II.

More than 4 million South Sudanese have fled their homes, almost 2 million of whom went to neighboring countries, said United Nations and other organizations. More than six million people - half of South Sudan's population - are in need of urgent aid and humanitarian organizations expect the number to rise by 20 to 30 percent in 2017. Syria, Iraq and Colombia - which has endured decades of conflict - had the largest number of internally displaced people.

The number of new asylum claims remained high at two million.

He said about 2,000 people crossed the border from South Sudan into Uganda each day over the last twelve months.

A year ago, the village of Bidi Bidi was just that, but now it is one of the biggest refugee settlements in the world - home to more than a quarter of a million people and covering 250 square kilometres.

Developing countries are hosting the majority of the world's refugees, UNHCR reported. People internally displaced are defined as still living in their home country, but have nowhere to actually live.

By the end of 2016, 3.3 million people from the world's newest country had fled their homes, more than half to neighbouring countries. World Refugee Day marks the awareness on people to encourage and protect the refugees around the world.