A new United Nations report released yesterday on World Refugee Day has found that a huge proportion of the world's refugee population is currently found in poorer countries, despite misconceptions that industrialized countries are home to the most displaced people.
The report said that poor countries host 80 percent of the world's refugees. With 1.9 million people, Pakistan has the largest refugee population, followed by Iran and Syria with 1.07 million and 1.005 million respectively. The number of refugees in India was listed as 184,821; in the United States, 264,574.
Where does the confusion come from? "Fears about supposed floods of refugees in industrialized countries are being vastly overblown or mistakenly conflated with issues of migration," said Antonio Guterres, U.N. high commissioner for refugees. "Meanwhile, it's poorer countries that are left having to pick up the burden."
But the report also revealed that the number of people forced to flee their homes to escape war or abuse has risen to its highest level in 15 years. Putting aside the characteristics of the countries where these people end up, that piece of bad news is universal.
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