UN official hails Turkey for "hosting highest number of refugees" with 3.7 million people, mostly Syrians, followed by Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan, and Germany.
Turkey is the country that has hosted the largest number of refugees for five consecutive years, including more Syrian refugees than any other country, a UN Refugee Agency official said on Monday.
"Unfortunately, clashes are not ending in the time period we are living in," Selin Unal, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (or UNHCR) in Turkey, told Anadolu Agency.
"This year, unfortunately, we saw numbers rising compared to last year," Unal said, referring to the UNHCR’s Global Trends Report released last week.
Unal said Turkey has undertaken a very tough responsibility to take in and care for refugees who are trying to hold onto life, rebuild their lives, and look to the future.
"Turkey is the country which has been hosting the highest number of refugees in the world for five consecutive years," she said.
"In this context, Turkey is appreciated not just by us, but by the international community," said Unal, adding that cooperation between Ankara and the UNHCR continues.
Turkey has said while it appreciates the praise, the world community – especially the EU – has failed to do its part to help share the refugee burden.
Refugees by numbers
"An estimated 13.6 million people were newly displaced due to conflict or persecution in 2018. This included 10.8 million individuals displaced within the borders of their own country and 2.8 million new refugees and new asylum seekers," said the Global Trends Report.
"For the fifth consecutive year, Turkey hosted the largest number of refugees worldwide, with 3.7 million people –– most of them refugees from the Syrian civil war –– followed by Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan, and Germany," it noted.
Some 67 percent of all refugees worldwide came from just five countries: Syria (6.7 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million), South Sudan (2.3 million), Myanmar (1.1 million, largely Muslim Rohingya refugees), and Somalia (900,000).
"Children below 18 years of age constituted about half of the refugee population in 2018, up from 41 percent in 2009 but similar to the previous few years," it added.