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Refugee Numbers Decline

Refugee camp, Kenema.

The global number of refugees fell by 18% to 17.1 million in 2003 - the smallest number in a decade, according to Ruud Lubbers the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who announced the new data just before World Refugee day on June 20th. The decline can be attributed to several factors including increased international efforts to find solutions for uprooted people. There has also been an unprecedented level of voluntary repatriation during the past 2 years. Some 3.5 million displaced people returned to their countries last year, mostly Afghans from Pakistan and Iran.

From a published paper: Bosch X. Refugee numbers down as more people return home. The Lancet 2004; 363:2148 (26 June)

For further information see; The LANCET, vol 363, June 26th, 2004, pp 2148

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Refugee Numbers Decline. Field Exchange 23, November 2004. p12. www.ennonline.net/fex/23/refugee

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