UN Warns of Increase in Displaced People Over Next Decade

Posted May 31st, 2012 at 3:25 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations is warning of a significant increase in the number of displaced people around the world during the next decade, as conflict, natural disasters and climate change force people from their homes.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said at the United Nations in New York Thursday that the world is creating displacement faster than it is producing solutions to the problem. Guterres said he sees less and less capacity in the world to find political solutions in conflict prevention and resolution.

A UNHCR publication released Thursday says there are 43 million people around the globe who have been forced from their homes due to various reasons, including population growth, scarcity of food and water, and competition for resources. The report says 80 percent of those people live in the developing world.

The publication also says that natural disasters displace more people annually than conflict. The UNHCR report warns of a gap in international protection for people who flee their countries because of climate change or natural disasters, saying they are not considered refugees under international law.