Syria, Iraq conflicts send asylum-seeker numbers up 45%


GENEVA: The number of asylum-seekers in industrialized countries rose by nearly half last year, driven by the devastating conflicts in Syria and Iraq, with Germany the top destination, the United Nations refugee agency said on Thursday. In 2014, some 866,000 people applied for asylum in such countries, marking a 45-percent jump from a year earlier and a 22-year high, the UN refugee agency said. The surge is linked to the spiralling conflicts in Syria and Iraq, which have created “the worst humanitarian crisis of our era,” spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters.



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