Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Somalia Among Top Source Countries for Refugees

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says Somalia was among the world's top three source countries for refugees last year.

In a Friday report marking World Refugee Day, the agency said Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia together accounted for more than half of the world's 16.7 million refugees in 2013.

It said many of the 1.1 million Somalis who left the country sought refuge from conflict, drought and famine in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo also have relatively high rankings on the agency's top 10 list of source countries, together accounting for more than a million refugees. People from both countries have been dealing with the impact of conflict.

Eritrea is in 10th place, accounting for 308,000 refugees.

In a statement, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said that "peace is today dangerously in deficit."

He also said the international community needs to overcome its differences and find solutions to the conflicts in "South Sudan, Syria, Central African Republic and elsewhere."

The refugee agency says overall, more than 50 million people were forcibly displaced last year, an increase of about six million from the previous year.

Pakistan hosts the world's largest number of refugees, more than 1.6. million. Kenya, Chad and Ethiopia host the largest numbers in Africa.

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