UN predicts more refugees in next decade
June 1st 2012
The United Nations refugee agency said on Thursday [31 May] that the world will see increasing numbers of refugees during the next 10 years as the factors causing mass population flight grow. A new report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says human displacement caused by conflict is becoming compounded by several factors. They include climate change, population growth, urbanization, food insecurity, water scarcity and resource competition. All of these causes, says the UN agency, interact with each other, increasing instability and conflict, and forcing people to move.
Antonio Guterres, head of the UN refugee agency, told a news conference that new crises last year resulted in the highest number of new refugees in the last decade. In addition, he said, 70 percent of the refugees protected by the High Commissioner for Refugees – plus the Palestinian refugees – are in what Guterres called a protracted refugee situation – being displaced for more than five years. ‘So, more refugees – more refugees for a longer period of time, more difficulties to reach out to them and to support them,’ said Guterres. Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister, said that during various crises in 2011 and this year, neighboring countries, most in the developing world, kept their borders open to fleeing refugees. At the same time, he added, there is a debate in the industrialized world that tends to restrict asylum policies and close borders to refugees. Guterres pointed to what he called alliances between some populist politicians and some irresponsible media that create an environment in which xenophobia and racism tend to develop.
Read the full article: Voice of America
More about conflict & migration
- UN: one-quarter of Somali population now displaced
- Kiribati Cabinet approves plan to buy land in Fiji for climate refugees
- Bank of England expert predicts future UK property boom
- Population of London to reach 9 million by 2020 as city swells by a million in less than a decade
- Water wars: 21st century conflicts?