A record 65.6 million people have been driven from their homes in a series of crises resulting in refugee flows not seen since WWII, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Monday in its Global Trends report.
After Syria, Colombia was the second largest source of people forcibly displaced.
Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees said, "It is an extremely moveable situation, an extremely dynamic situation, which reflects in turn conflicts that continue to affect mostly and primarily and very violently civilians".
It is a smaller increase than 2014-15, when the figure rose by five million, reports the BBC.
However, the total number seeking safety across worldwide borders as refugees topped 22.5 million, the highest number seen since UNHCR was founded in 1950.
"By any measure, this is an unacceptable number, and it speaks louder than ever to the need for solidarity and common goal in preventing and resolving crises", he said.
"We are in an extremely hard situation and ultimately the solution has to come from worldwide states upholding their obligations and supporting refugees, but also helping to bring crises to a close", said Matthew Saltmarsh, spokesman for the UNHCR.
Syria's six-year civil war remained the largest single cause of displacement, with 12 million people - around two-thirds of the population - either uprooted within the country or fleeing overseas, the group said.
The majority of those displaced in the sub-Saharan country are children.
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All refugee children should go to school.
The numbers of those displaced is likely to be over a million by end of the year, UNHCR said.
Displaced South Sudanese gather during a visit of UNCHR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi to a new site for displaced people outside of the United Nations protected camp, in Bentiu, South Sudan Sunday, June 18, 2017. As of the end of 2016 the number of people seeking asylum globally was 2.8 million.
Monday's report also pointed out that, despite huge focus on Europe's migrant crisis, it is poorer countries that host most of the world's refugees.
"We have to do better for these people", Grandi said.
"No refugee crisis today worries me more than South Sudan", the UNHCR's Africa chief Valentin Tapsoba said, pointing out that two thirds of the refugees amid the deepening conflict are children.
He also recalled the burden that lay on some of the poorest countries in the world - 84% of the displaced live in poor countries and countries with middle income. "For a world in conflict‚ what is needed is determination and courage‚ not fear".
"The global neglect that you see here is matched nowhere else in the world", Grandi told The Associated Press on Sunday while visiting South Sudan's largest internally displaced camp in the town of Bentiu.