Pakistan bears largest refugee burden: UN report

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 00:30

United Nations: A mammoth burden of the
world`s refugee population is being currently borne by poorer
countries, a UN report has found, putting Pakistan with 1.9
million refugees at the top of the table.

The report released by UNHCR on World Refugee Day said
that poor countries host 80 per cent of the world`s refugees
now living in developing countries.

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.

"Fears about supposed floods of refugees in
industrialised countries are being vastly overblown or
mistakenly conflated with issues of migration," said Antonio
Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, noting that there
are worrying misperceptions about refugee movements.

"Meanwhile, it`s poorer countries that are left having
to pick up the burden," he added.

The number of refugees in India was listed as 184,821
and in the United States 264,574.

The release of the report also marked the 60th
anniversary of UNHCR.

Pakistan also feels that the biggest economic impact
with 710 refugees for each dollar of its per capita gross
domestic product (GDP), the report said.

The 2010 Global Trends report shows that 43.7 million
people are now displaced worldwide roughly equalling the
entire populations of Colombia or the Republic of Korea.

The report said some refugees have been in exile for
more than 30 years.

Afghans, who first fled the Soviet invasion in 1979,
accounted for a third of the world`s refugees in both 2001 and
in 2010.

The report said that Iraqis, Somalis, Congolese
(Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Sudanese were also
among the top 10 nationalities of refugees at both the start
and end of the decade.

"The world is failing these people, leaving them to
wait out the instability back home and put their lives on hold
indefinitely.

"Developing countries cannot continue to bear this
burden alone and the industrialised world must address this
imbalance," said Guterres.

"We need to see increased resettlement quotas. We need
accelerated peace initiatives in long-standing conflicts so
that refugees can go home," he added.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 00:30

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