The UN high commissioner for refugees’ (UNHCR) yearly Global Trends report found that 70.8 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2018 – the highest number in the organisation’s almost 70-year history.
It was an increase of more than two million from the previous year and an overall total that would amount to the world’s 20th most populous country.
Almost two-thirds of those uprooted from their homes were internally displaced people who have not left their homelands, the UNHCR said.
Launching the report in Berlin on Wednesday, the high commissioner, Filippo Grandi, said the new figures are “worrying”.
Of the 25.9 million refugees, nearly 20 percent were Palestinians under the care of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
About 13.6 million people were newly displaced in 2018 – including 2.8 million who sought protection abroad and 10.8 million who were left in their own countries, according to the UNHCR.