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UN: More than 50 million people displaced worldwide, largest number since World War II

A Syrian refugee girl weeps during the visit of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres to Khaldeh, south of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, June 19, 2014. Guterres is visiting Lebanon where he will meet some Syrian refugees and discuss the situation with Lebanese officials. Lebanon, home to 4.5 million people, is struggling to cope with the presence of more than 1 million refugees in desperate need of housing, education and medical care. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
June 19, 2014 - 11:16 PM

BEIRUT - The United Nations refugee agency says that at the end of last year, more than 50 million people have been forced from their homes worldwide, the highest figure of displaced since World War II.

The daunting number is also a stark reflection of the ongoing conflicts and persecutions from Syria to South Sudan. The number includes refugees and asylum-seekers who fled abroad as well as people displaced within their own countries.

The UNHCR's annual Global Trends Report released Friday in Beirut says 51.2 million have been forcibly displaced by the end of 2013, six million more than at the end of the previous year. The data is compiled from government, non-government partner organizations and UNHCR's own records.

Syria's civil war alone has forced 9 million people to flee their homes.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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