Refugee crisis escalates as wars drive record numbers to flee

Conflicts and persecution have driven a record 65.3 million people from their homes

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Gulf News

London: World leaders are gathering in New York on Monday for a major United Nations (UN) summit on tackling the refugee and migrant crisis.

Conflicts and persecution have driven a record 65.3 million people from their homes. Here are some facts:

— One in every 113 people globally is either an asylum seeker, internally displaced or a refugee.

— An average of 24 people worldwide were forced to flee every minute last year.

— At the end of 2015 there were 65.3 million forcibly displaced people. They included 21.3 million refugees, 40.8 million internally displaced people and 3.2 million asylum seekers.

— If they were the population of a country, they would be the world’s 21st largest.

— More than half of refugees come from just three countries: Syria (4.9 mln), Afghanistan (2.7 mln) and Somalia (1.1 mln).

- Colombia has the highest number of internally-displaced people (6.9 mln) followed by Syria (6.6 mln) and Iraq (4.4 mln).

- Developing regions host 86 per cent of refugees. Turkey has by far the largest number at 2.5 million.

— Lebanon has the highest concentration relative to its own population with nearly one refugee for every five citizens.

— Nearly one in 200 children in the world is a refugee. The number of child refugees has more than doubled in the last decade.

— Growing numbers of children are crossing borders alone.

Last year, more than 100,000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in 78 countries — triple the number in 2014.