The number of people who have been forced to flee their homes has reached a staggering level, with 2015 on track to break previous records, according to a United Nations report released Friday.
People who have been forcibly displaced — including those who fled domestically as well as international refugees and asylum-seekers — has likely "far surpassed 60 million" for the first time, reads the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees report. Last year, 59.5 million had been displaced.
"In a global context, that means that one person in every 122 has been forced to flee their home," the agency said in a statement.
Forced displacement "is now profoundly affecting our times," High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said in a statement. "It touches the lives of millions of our fellow human beings – both those forced to flee and those who provide them with shelter and protection. Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything."
War in Syria has become the "single biggest generator worldwide of both new refugees and continuing mass internal and external displacement," the agency said. More than 4 million Syrians are now refugees – compared t0 less than 20,000 in 2010. Following Syria, most refugees come from Afghanistan, Somalia and South Sudan.
The report, which covers the first six months of 2015, found that by June, the world had 20.2 million refugees – nearly 1 million more than a year before. An average of 4,600 people flee their homes daily, and nearly 1 million refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to get to Europe so far this year.
Turkey, Pakistan and Lebanon host the most refugees. Such a massive flow of people from country to country has also put a strain on host nations, and left unmanaged, this "can increase resentment and abet politicization of refugees," the report notes.
These numbers come out at a time when several European nations are grappling with how to manage the flow of people seeking safe haven. Just this week, a Danish proposal to seize jewelry and cash from refugees has sparked international criticism.