POST TIME: 20 June, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 June, 2018 03:05:06 AM
Bangladesh hosts 7th largest refugee population in ’17: UN

Bangladesh hosts 7th largest refugee population in ’17: UN

Bangladesh hosted the seventh largest refugee population in the world in 2017 with a total number of more than 9.32 lakh (932,000) Rohingyas, according to annual Global Trend report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) yesterday, on the eve of World Refugee Day.

“The number of refugees increased more than three-fold, from 276,200 at the beginning of the year to 932,200 at year-end,” says the report. According to government officials concerned, the number is now much higher that at the end of 2017.

It is estimated that nearly 12 lakh (1.2 million) Rohingyas are now living in Bangladesh, they said. The officials further clarified that although the UNHCR described all the displaced people as refugees, the number of actual refugees stands at less than 35,000. The remaining Rohingyas are forcibly-displaced persons.

Meanwhile, the number of forced displaced people across the globe was above 6.85 crore (68.5 million) by the end of 2017, says the report.

Wars, other violence and persecution drove worldwide forced displacement to a new high in 2017 for the fifth year in a row, led by the crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan’s war, and the flight of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh from Myanmar. Overwhelmingly it is developing countries that are most affected, the report added.

Of the 6.85 crore (68.5 million)) people displaced by the end of 2017, a total of 1.6 crore (16.2 million) people were displaced during 2017 itself, either for the first time or repeatedly – indicating a huge number of people on the move and equivalent to 44,500 people being displaced each day, or a person becoming displaced every two seconds.

Refugees who have fled their countries to escape conflict and persecution accounted for 2.54 crore (25.4 million) of the 6.85 crore (68.5 million). This is 29 lakh (2.9 million) more than in 2016, also the biggest increase the UNHCR has seen in a single year.

In short, the world had more refugees in 2017 than the population of Australia. It had almost as many forcibly displaced people in total as the population of Thailand. Across all countries, one in every 110 persons is someone displaced.

“We are at a watershed, where success in managing forced displacement globally requires a new and far more comprehensive approach so that countries and communities aren’t left dealing with this alone,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

“But there is reason for some hope. Fourteen countries are already pioneering a new blueprint for responding to refugee situations and in a matter of months a new Global Compact on Refugees will be ready for adoption by the United Nations General Assembly,” he said.

“Today, on the eve of World Refugee Day, my message to member states is please support this. No one becomes a refugee by choice; but the rest of us can have a choice about how we help,” he added.