Canada resettled most refugees worldwide in 2018

A displaced Iraqi woman sits outside a tent where she is taking shelter in a camp for internally displaced people.Image copyright
AFP/Getty Images

Image caption

A displaced Iraqi woman sits outside a tent where she is taking shelter in a camp for internally displaced people.

Canada resettled the largest number of refugees out of 25 countries in 2018, according to the UN’s refugee agency.

The country accepted just over 28,000 refugees last year, with the United States coming in second with 22,900.

Some 92,400 refugees were resettled globally in 2018, fewer than 7% of those awaiting resettlement worldwide.

This figures were contained in a newly released UN Refugee Agency report looking into the global refugee trends last year.

According to the US-based Pew Research Center, which looked the the UNHCR data, 2018 was the first time the US did not lead the world in refugee resettlement since 1980.

Pew noted that until 2017, the US resettled more refugees on an annual basis than the rest of the world’s countries combined.

“The sharp drop in US refugee resettlement is in part due to the Trump administration’s decision to set a considerably lower cap on the number of refugees allowed into the US than in previous years,” said the research organisation.

The number of refugees Canada resettled last year was in line with 2017 figures, while the US numbers dropped. In 2017, the US accepted some 33,000 refugees.

Australia, the UK, and France also resettled high numbers out of the 25 countries that resettled refugees in 2018, according to UN figures.

The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million globally last year – the highest number in the UN refugee agency’s almost 70 years of operations.

More than two thirds of all refugees worldwide came from Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia.

The UN report identifies three main groups in that global count, which include refugees, or people forced to leave their country because of conflict, war or persecution. In 2018, the number of refugees reached 25.9 million worldwide.

The second group is designated as internally displaced persons (IDPs). These people are displaced within their country and amount to 41.3 million globally.

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Media captionIn 2017, hundreds of migrants were illegally crossing the US border into Canada each day

Another group is 3.5 million asylum seekers. These are people outside their country of birth who are under international protection, but are yet to be granted refugee status.

The US is the world’s major recipient of new asylum applications, registering 254,300 applications in 2018.

Canada was ninth on the list of new asylum claims with 55,400 registered in 2018, behind the US, Peru, Germany, France, Turkey, Brazil, Greece and Spain.

An influx of asylum seekers crossing at the US-Canada border has become a political issue after approximately 40,000 people “irregularly” crossed into Canada between 2017 and 2018.

Canada currently is struggling with a backlog of almost 74,000 asylum claims with applicants waiting almost two years for a hearing.

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