Over 65 mn people displaced in 2015: UN

Geneva: Over 65 million people were forcibly displaced by the end of 2015 -- compared with 59.5 million 12 months earlier, according to an annual report by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) released on Monday. The top host countries included Turkey (2.5 million), Pakistan (1.6 million), Lebanon (1.1 million), Iran (949,400), Ethiopia (736,100) and Jordan (664,100), EFE news reported. Among the countries of origin, the most important is Syria, with 4.9 million exiles outside the country, followed by Afghanistan with 2.7 million, and Somalia with 1.1 million. Colombia, with 6.9 million cases, Syria, with 6.6 million and Iraq with 4.4 million are the three countries with the highest number of internally displaced people (IDPs), although in the first case it is particularly long-term displacement. In absolute terms, Turkey is the country to have received the largest number of refugees, while Lebanon has received 183 refugees per 1,000 inhabitants. The year 2015 saw a record number of new asylum requests to industrialized countries, reaching 2 million, and increasing outstanding claims to 3.2 million. With 441,000 applications, Germany received the highest number of requests, followed by the US, with 172,000 cases. According to UNHCR figures, 51 per cent of the world's refugees are children, many of whom have left their countries alone, as reflected in the almost 100,000 asylum applications made by children separated from their families. Solutions for forcibly displaced people are scarce, with only 201,000 refugees returning to their countries last year, mainly to Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia.