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New UNHCR statistical yearbook

Briefing notes

New UNHCR statistical yearbook

8 November 2002

UNHCR today is releasing its new Statistical Yearbook, containing a wealth of statistical information, maps and charts on refugee populations worldwide. The new annual yearbook, which contains statistics through the end of 2001, was produced by UNHCR's Population and Geographic Data Section.

Among some of the main findings in the new Statistical Yearbook is the fact that 86 percent of the world's refugees over the past decade originated from developing countries, and seven out of ten of them were also hosted by developing nations. So while rich countries voice increasing concern over the numbers of asylum seekers arriving on their borders, it is mainly poor nations that provide asylum to the world's refugees - 72 percent over the past 10 years. As the yearbook notes, the fact that seven out of 10 refugees are hosted by low-income countries underscores the responsibility of richer nations to share in international refugee protection.

These statistics also underscore the vital importance of investing in solutions for refugees and displaced people in regions of origin. We need to see more investment not only in humanitarian activities by UNHCR and its partners, but also in the longer-term development sphere where a lot more could be done to support the often poor communities that host refugees. The High Commissioner is extremely active in promoting future development projects that benefit host communities and make use of the skills and productive potential of the refugees themselves.