The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018. This is the highest level that UNHCR has seen in its almost 70 years. The figure of 70.8 million is conservative, in particular as the crisis in Venezuela is still only partly reflected in this number. In all, some 4 million Venezuelans, according to data from governments receiving them, have left their country, making this among the world’s biggest recent displacement crises. Although the majority need international refugee protection, as of today only around half a million have taken the step of formally applying for asylum.
ithin the 70.8 million figure in the Global Trends report are three main groups. The first is refugees, meaning people forced to flee their country because of conflict, war or persecution. In 2018, the number of refugees reached 25.9 million worldwide, 500,000 more than in 2017. Included in this total are 5.5 million Palestine refugees who are under the care of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
The second group is asylum seekers – people outside their country of origin and receiving international protection, but awaiting the outcome of their claim to refugee status. At the end of 2018 there were 3.5 million asylum seekers globally.
The third and biggest group, at 41.3 million, is people displaced to other areas within their own country, a category commonly referred to as Internally Displaced People or IDPs.
Lancet Infect Dis. 2019 Feb 21. pii: S1473-3099(18)30757-6. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30757-6
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Economic and social unrest in Venezuela have led the health system to the brink of collapse. Infectious diseases are surging as a result.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases Volume 19, ISSUE 1, P28, January 01, 2019
Faced with the largest population outflow in Latin America of recent years, 95 organizations covering 16 countries have been working together to establish a comprehensive response to the urgent needs of millions of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, and host communities.