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World Refugee Population Lowest in a Decade

Here's a bit of good news: according to the UN High Commission on Refugees, the number of refugees in the world fell by 920,000 in 2003, bringing the global total to 9.7 million. This is the second consecutive year that the global total number of refugees has fallen. The return of refugees to Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, and Iraq was cited as the chief reason, with more than half of the 1.1 million returned refugees going home to Afghanistan alone. 2.1 million Afghans still live as refugees, with about half of those in Pakistan. The UNHCR report on 2003 refugee trends can be downloaded here (PDF).


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