Nearly 66mn people displaced globally, one-quarter from Syria & Iraq – UN refugees chief

The number of people who have been forced to leave their homes has increased from 42 million in 2009 to almost 66 million worldwide, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, announced Thursday. Speaking before the UN Security Council, he said that this includes 17.2 million refugees "under UNHCR's responsibility," registering a 70 percent increase since then. In Syria alone, 11 million people have been forcibly displaced – and with almost the same number of refugees from neighboring Iraq, the two Middle Eastern nations account for one-quarter of the global number. "A succession of major new crises has caused massive displacement across virtually all regions," Grandi warned in his statement, adding that the crises in Libya, Ukraine and Yemen have significantly worsened the situation.