2014 records highest asylum rate in 20 years: UNHCR

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Yezidi families escape war-torn area of Shingal in northern Iraq. File photo

ARA News

Al-Hasakah, Syria – The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Friday that the war in Syria and Iraq, beside the instability in other regions, pushed more people to seek asylum in western countries.

According to the Commissioner, asylum claims in 2014 were the hightest in the last 20 years.

the UNHCR said in an official report that 330,700 people sought refuge in 44 countries during the first half of the year 2014, which represents an increase of 24% compared to the same period of 2013.

The Commissioner said that if the number of refugees continued to increase like this the number of asylum seekers may reach 700,000 in 2014, the largest number of refugees in 20 years. This hasn’t happen since the nineties during the conflict involving the former Yugoslavia.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Antonio Guterres, said that the international community needs to know that in the light of absence of solutions to the ongoing conflict, more and more people will need to seek refuge in the coming months.

The UNHCR explained that two-thirds of asylum claims made ​​during the first six months of this year took place in Germany, the United States, France, Sweden, Turkey and Italy.

The Commissioner also confirmed that one out of seven applicants for asylum came from Syria, which exceeded 48,400 requests.

 

Reporting by: Jiwan Ibrahim

Source: ARA News

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