A record 65.6 million people were forced from their homes in troubled areas of the world by the end of past year, the United Nations said on Monday.
The figures released ahead of World Refugee Day showed that of the total, some 10.3 million people were newly displaced in 2016, around two-thirds fleeing within their own countries, according to an annual report by the group.
Of the 65.6 million people forcibly displaced globally, 10.3 million became displaced previous year, about two-thirds of them (6.9 million) fleeing within their own countries.
While Syria has the largest displaced population at 12 million, South Sudan has the world's fastest growing refugee crisis, with 3.3 million displaced at the end of 2016. As the organization pointed out, this equals one person being displaced every three seconds. Around half a million other refugees were able to return to their home countries, and about 6.5 million internally displaced people to their areas of origin - although many did so in less than ideal circumstances and facing uncertain prospects.
With a record 65.6 million people a year ago forcibly uprooted from their homes by violence and persecution, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on June 20 called on the global community to provide support and solidarity. A total of 22.5 million people, half of whom were children, registered as refugees in 2016.
The UN refugee chief voiced most alarm over the rapidly deteriorating situation which he said was now the world's "fastest growing refugee crisis and displacement crisis", and has swelled by 85 percent a year ago.
"By any measure this is an unacceptable number", said Filipo Grandi, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees.More news: Obama slams new Republican healthcare bill
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They house some of the 18 million displaced people in Africa.
"The historic high displacement figures must foster more dedicated work for political solutions, increase funding to meet humanitarian needs, and bring a larger willingness among all countries to take their share of the responsibility".
Around two thirds of refugees find themselves in a "protracted refugee system;" when at least 25,000 refugees of the same nationality have been in exile in a particular nation for five years.or refugees who have been displaced for over five years.
"Ethiopia is a very good model of how a country with limited resources and a great challenge of its own keeps its doors open, its arms open to people from neighbouring countries that are in trouble and seek protection here", he told journalists.
Pakistan stands first in highest number of refugees with 1.6 million.
To make matters worse, South Sudan, that gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after years of civil war, has emerged as the new crisis spot to produce refugees.
In 2016, war-ravaged South Sudan joined the list when approximately 737,400 people fled the country after peace efforts broke down in July.