United Nations

UN: 7.6 Million People Became Refugees in 2012

Highest number since 1994

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The UN says 7.6 million people became refugees in 2012, with the total number now higher than at any time since 1994.

A report from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) says that Syria is "a major new factor" driving up refugee numbers.

The report say 55% of all refugees come from five countries: Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan and Syria.

It also found that developing countries now hosted 81% of the world's refugees, 11% more than a decade ago.

"These truly are alarming numbers. They reflect individual suffering on a huge scale and they reflect the difficulties of the international community in preventing conflicts and promoting timely solutions for them," said UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres.