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Beyond Syrians, refugees have been displaced from all over the world

Some 839,000 people left their countries in the first six months of 2015, equivalent to 4,600 people fleeing every day.

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    After waiting for days on the shore of Lake Tanganyika on Kayunga Peninsula, Burundian refugees disembark the MV Liemba in Kigoma. From here, they will be transferred to Nyaragusu refugee camp, May 18.
    Benjamin Loyseau/UNHCR
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    Displaced people live beneath former planes at the M'poko IDP site close to the international airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, May 31.
    Olivier Laban-Mattel/UNHCR
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    A Yazidi woman who was kidnapped by ISIS and later released sits in the abandoned building where she lives in Bozan, northern Iraq, Jan. 23. She was kidnapped with her husband and seven children, and immediately separated from her family, except for her three youngest children. A few weeks later her nine-year-old daughter was snatched from her arms by a 15-year-old ISIS fighter.
    Andrew McConnell/UNHCR
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    Gabriel from Nigeria is 15 months old. Along with his parents, he arrived in Sicily on board a boat after crossing the Mediterranean, June 29. A few weeks ago, his father Dale decided to embark on the dangerous journey to Europe. 'While sailing on the Mediterranean, the engine's gear lever of our boat carrying about 80 people broke down and we were stranded at sea for six hours," he says.
    Fabio Bucciarelli/UNHCR
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    Latifah Abdallah cradles her two-month-old baby Yusuf in a refugee camp in Obock, Djibouti, April 12. She fled the war in Yemen 'due to constant bombardment, tanks, and shooting' and after seeing her neighbor's house go up in flames. She 'had no expectations for life' as she ran to the nearby port of Aden to board an oil tanker that was allowing fleeing people to sit on the roof. Latifah sacrificed her shawl to protect Yusuf and other toddlers from being scorched during a 20-hour journey without food or water. 'As a mother, I shed so many tears," she says.
    Hannah McNeish/UNHCR
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    After being stranded at sea for months, Rohingya refugees from Myanmar receive medical treatment at a temporary shelter in Bayeun, East Aceh, Indonesia, May 21.
    Fauzan Ijazah/UNHCR
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One in 122 people around the world is a displaced person or refugee, according to a United Nations High Commission for Refugees report released Friday.

The report, which looked at the period from January to June 2015, examined the three main categories of displacement: those displaced within their own countries, refugees, and asylum-seekers.

As of mid-2015, the worldwide total of refugees had passed the 20 million threshold for the first time since 1992, and now stands at 20.2 million. Applications for asylum have also increased 78 percent over the same period in 2014, and the number of people who are internally displaced has increased by 2 million to approximately 34 million people.

The number of new refugees is also rising: 839,000 people left their countries in the first six months of 2015, equivalent to 4,600 people fleeing every day.

"Forced displacement is now profoundly affecting our times. 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," High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said in a statement.

"Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything," he added.

Some of the largest contributors to these numbers are the ongoing crisis in Syria and the recent crisis in Mali, although they are by no means the only contributing factors; conflicts in Yemen and South Sudan, among other areas, have also given rise to a record high number of refugees. Scroll through the photo reel above for the faces and stories of refugees and displaced people from other nations beyond Syria.

Amnesty International estimates that there are currently approximately 4 million Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war there, a number that continues to grow. In Mali, thousands of people fled the country following the 2012 military coup, but returned after relative stability resumed in 2013. But the political and military situation in the country remains complex and fraught, and UNHCR estimates that nearly 100,000 Malians are still internally displaced.

Another significant trend: fewer refugees are voluntarily choosing to go home than ever before. UNHCR estimates that only 84,000 people have or are choosing to do so in 2015, compared to 107,000 in the same period a year ago.

This rise in the number of people who are fleeing conflict and choosing to stay in their new chosen homeland puts more pressure on the countries that host them. Turkey is the world's biggest host, with 1.8 million refugees, but Germany is not far behind, having pledged to take in 35,000 refugees, or 75 percent, of the total for the European Union. And Lebanon has the most refugees relative to its population size: 209 refugees for every 1,000 people.

 
 
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