60m Uprooted Worldwide Due to War, Persecution

60m Uprooted Worldwide Due to War, Persecution60m Uprooted Worldwide Due to War, Persecution

Conflicts and violence raging around the world sent the number of people forced to flee their homes soaring to a record 60 million last year, the United Nations said Thursday.

That is 8.3 million more refugees and internally displaced people in the world than in 2013, the highest-ever increase in a single year, the UN refugee agency said in a report titled “World at War.”

“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told reporters ahead of the launch of UNHCR’s annual report, France24 reported.

A whopping 59.5 million individuals were displaced from their homes worldwide at the end of 2014, “as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations,” the report showed.

That is up from 51.2 million in 2013 and from 37.5 million a decade ago, and if these people were lumped together as a nation, it would be the world’s 24th largest. Of the total, 19.5 million were refugees, 1.8 million were asylum seekers and 38.2 million had fled their homes but stayed in their country, the report said.

More than half of the world’s refugees are children, up from 41 percent in 2009, while the total number of people who fled their homes has spiked by 40 percent in just three years.