Despite populist rhetoric in the West, the real refugee crisis is playing out in developing countries, which hosts most of the record 70.8 million displaced people who have fled war and persecution, the United Nations said on Wednesday (June 19).
Half of the worlds forcibly displaced are children and the 2018 total is the highest in nearly 70 years, doubling that of 20 years ago, the U.N. refugee agency said in its annual flagship report, Global Trends.
But the figure is “conservative”, as it does not include most of the 4 million Venezuelans who have fled abroad since 2015, it said.
This is because Venezuelans do not need visas or to lodge asylum claims to stay in most host countries. If the outflow continues, a total of 5 million Venezuelans could have left by year-end, it added.
Filippo Grandi, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees urged for a political solution in the country.
Venezuelans arriving mainly in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador formed the second biggest flow of newly displaced abroad last year, after Syrians fleeing to Turkey after eight years of war, the agency said.
U.S. President Donald Trump has made reducing illegal migration along the border with Mexico one of his signature policy pledges.