The UN refugee agency says persecution and conflict raised the total number of refugees and internally displaced people worldwide to a record 65.3 million at the end of last year.
“I hope that the message carried by those forcibly displaced reaches the leadership: We need action, political action, to stop conflicts,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees. “The message that they have carried is: ‘If you don’t solve problems, problems will come to you’.”
With stark detail, UNHCR said that on average, 24 people had been displaced every minute of every day last year, or 34,000 people a day, up from six every minute in 2005.
Global displacement has roughly doubled since 1997, and risen by 50 percent since 2011 alone – when the Syria war began.
“There is no plan B for Europe in the long run,” Grandi said. “Europe will continue to receive people seeking asylum. Their numbers may vary … but it is inevitable.”