UNHCR's new Mid-Year Trends 2014 report shows that of the 5.5 million who were newly displaced, 1.4 million fled across international borders becoming refugees, while the rest were displaced within their own countries (IDPs).
Taking into account existing displaced populations, data revisions, voluntary returns and resettlement, the number of people being helped by UNHCR (referred to in the report as People of Concern) stood at 46.3 million as of mid-2014 – some 3.4 million more than at the end of 2013 and a new record high.
Among the report's main findings are that Syrians, for the first time, have become the largest refugee population under UNHCR's mandate (Palestinians in the Middle East fall under the care of our sister-organization UNRWA), overtaking Afghans, who had held that position for more than three decades. At more than 3 million as of June 2014, Syrian refugees now account for 23 per cent of all refugees being helped by UNHCR worldwide.
Despite dropping to second place, the 2.7 million Afghan refugees worldwide remain the largest protracted refugee population under UNHCR care (the agency defines a "protracted refugee situation" as one that has existed for at least five years).
After Syria and Afghanistan, the leading countries of origin of refugees are:
Somalia (1.1 million),
South Sudan (509,000),
the Democratic Republic of the Congo (493,000),
Myanmar (Burma) (480,000)
Pakistan, which hosts 1.6 million Afghan refugees, remains the biggest host country in absolute terms.
Other countries with large refugee populations are:
Lebanon (1.1 million),
|Refugee host countries|