Global refugee numbers reach record high, U.S. and Canada take in record numbers


OTTAWA — A new report from the United Nations Refugee Agency shows 2017 broke global records for displaced persons, with Canada becoming the ninth-largest recipient of asylum seekers in the world.

The annual Global Trends report from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees shows 68.5 million people fled their home countries due to wars, violence and persecution in 2017.

As a result, there were 2.9 million more refugees around the world than in the previous year, the largest year-over-year increase the UN has ever seen.

More than 16 million people were newly displaced over the course of the year.

Canada was the ninth-largest recipient of asylum seekers, with 47,800 claims registered in 2017 — more than twice the number of claims in 2016.

For the first time in five years, the United States became the largest recipient of new asylum applications in 2017, with more than 330,000 claims lodged — a 27 per cent jump from 2016.

— Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.


The Canadian Press