Refugee numbers ‘highest ever’
The UN refugee agency says the number of people displaced by conflict around the world has reached more than 70 million – the highest figure it has ever recorded.
In its annual analysis of refugee trends, the UNHCR says the numbers of people forced from their homes by war and persecution are outstripping the ability to find safe solutions.
The country providing the most new asylum seekers in 2018 was Venezuela.
Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told the BBC that poorer countries were bearing the brunt of the crisis, and wealthier countries should do more.
According to the UN data, more than two-thirds of all refugees come from just five countries:
Syria (6.7 million)
Afghanistan (2.7 million)
South Sudan (2.3 million)
Myanmar (1.1 million)
At more than 1.5 million, Ethiopians were the largest newly displaced population in 2018, 98% of them internally, more than doubling the previous number. These were mainly attributed to inter-communal violence throughout 2018, with communities living along disputed boundaries most affected.