9 January 2015

An estimated 5.5 million people became newly displaced during the first six months of 2014, according to a new report by UNHCR. 1.4 million of them fled across international borders. UNHCR calculates that there are now 46.3 million persons globally which are being helped by the UN agency – 3.4 million more than at the end of 2013.

The report highlights that the more than 3 million Syrian refugees are now the largest refugee population under UNHCR’s mandate, accounting for 23% of all refugees assisted by UNHCR. The UN Agency UNRWA provides assistance to around 5 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.

During the first half of 2014, neighbouring countries continued to host the large majority of Syrian refugees. This includes Lebanon, hosting 1.1 registered refugees in June 2014, Turkey (798,000), Jordan (645,600), Iraq (220,400), and Egypt (138,100). During the first half of 2014, the Syrian refugee population grew by more than half a million persons in these five countries.

After Syrians, the 2.7 million Afghan refugees are the second largest refugee population under UNHCR mandate, followed by refugees from Somalia (1.1 million), Sudan (670,000), South Sudan (509,000), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (493,000), Myanmar (480,000) and Iraq (426,000).

Pakistan, which hosted 1.6 million Afghan refugees, remained the country hosting the most refugees in absolute terms.


 This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 9 January 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.