ISLAMABAD - UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has said that the year 2019 saw a sharp in­crease in global displacement, affecting more than 1 per cent of humanity.

Every year UNHCR releases the Glob­al Trends report around World Refugee Day, which is marked on 20 June, to pay tribute to the courage and resilience of the millions of people displaced as a re­sult of ongoing conflicts, war and natu­ral disasters globally.

According to the report, some 79.5 million people were displaced by the end of last year. Of them 45.7 million people fled to other areas of their own country, while 29.6 million were ref­ugees. Some 4.2 million are await­ing the outcome of asylum requests. Eleven million people were newly dis­placed, fleeing wars, violence or per­secution.

In Islamabad, UNHCR and the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees, Ministry of States and Fron­tier Regions, organized a virtual event to express solidarity with those forced to flee their home and the communities generously hosting them.

The event was attended by the UN­HCR Representative in Pakistan, Ms. Noriko Yoshida, Chief Commission­er for Afghan Refugees. Saleem Khan, other government officials, represent­atives from diplomatic missions, UN agencies, partners, members of the civ­il society and refugees.

Speaking at the occasion, UNHCR Representative in Pakistan Yoshida said that these mounting figures are increasingly worrying. 1 in every 97 people in this world is displaced, rep­resenting more than 1 per cent of hu­manity,” she added.

Yoshida also said that forced dis­placement has doubled since 2010, as the figures stood at 41 million one dec­ade ago. “Another fact is that 85 per cent of the refugees are in developing countries, despite their own challeng­es,” she added. She lauded the people and government of Pakistan for host­ing refugees for over four decades. “Pa­kistan’s hospitality and generosity is exemplary,” she said.

On the occasion, Chief Commission­er for Afghan Refugees Saleem Khan, expressed the government’s resolve to assist Afghan refugees. He called upon the international community to pro­vide fund and support to Pakistan to deal with the Afghan refugee.