It is estimated that 1,150,300 refugees globally are now in need of resettlement. This marks a 50 per cent increase in resettlement needs compared with the total projected resettlement needs estimated for 2012. Over the last year there has been dramatic growth in mass displacement, which has reached levels unprecedented in recent history. This upsurge is directly reflected in the number of refugees projected to be in need of resettlement, which has reached one million for the first time since reporting of resettlement needs began over 30 years ago.
The direct correlation between the resettlement needs and the size of the global refugee population can be seen over the last five years when the global resettlement needs have consistently amounted to around 8 per cent of the total refugee population. In 2015 UNHCR offices have calculated that the projected resettlement needs for 2016 are 22 per cent higher than the anticipated needs for the previous year. Similarly, the global refugee population increased by 23 per cent last year, i.e. with the same rate of growth as resettlement needs.
In 2014, new and unresolved conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine were the cause of mass displacement. However, sharp rises in forced displacement and resettlement needs in recent years are largely due to the Syrian conflict, which has created millions of displaced persons and put a huge strain on host countries and their resources. Resettlement needs have also increased in recent years since UNHCR has estimated the resettlement needs of protracted refugee situations in Africa with greater accuracy (refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Somalia, and Sudan).
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