Cross-posted from WSWS
The total number of people displaced from their homes by war and political persecution now exceeds 50 million, the highest number since World War II, according to a report issued Friday. The report was released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The overall total of 51.2 million displaced people includes 16.7 million refugees, 33.3 million displaced inside their country of origin, and 1.2 million seeking asylum.
The report notes that if these 51.2 million were a separate nation, it would rank 26th in the world in population, just behind South Africa and ahead of South Korea. Half of all these displaced persons are children.
Some 10.7 million people were newly displaced in the course of 2013, for an average of 32,200 every day. This includes a record 8.2 million internally displaced, the highest figure ever reported by the UNHRC, and 2.5 million new refugees, the most since the Rwanda genocide of 1994. The number of new refugees more than doubled, compared to 2011 and 2012, when there were about one million new refugees each year.
The conditions under which displaced people live are deteriorating, with fewer resettlements of refugees than in all but three other years since the UNHCR began keeping such figures in 1989.
Nearly one-fifth of the world's displaced people come from a single conflict, the civil war in Syria, with nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, while another 6.5 million are displaced within the country.