On Monday, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR unveiled its annual Global Trends Report, which found that persecution and conflict in places like Syria and Afghanistan raised the total number of refugees and internally displaced people worldwide to a record 65.3 million at the end of last year.
The previous year, 2014, had already seen the highest number of refugees worldwide since World War II, with 60 million displaced people.
Last year, however, as Europe staggered under the arrival of large numbers of migrants, that record was surpassed by nearly 10 percent. The Geneva-based agency urged leaders from Europe and elsewhere to do more to end the wars that are fanning the exodus of people from their homelands. “I hope that the message carried by those forcibly displaced reaches the leaderships: we need action, political action, to stop conflicts,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “The message that they have carried is, if you don’t solve problems, problems will come to you.”