U.N. says refugee numbers at record level

[World News ]


(P1) Last year was a record for refugee numbers. The United Nations (U.N.) said 65.3 million people were forced to leave their home or country, up by five million from 2014. The 2015 figure is 50 percent higher than five years ago. One in every 113 people in the world is now a refugee. Twenty-four people are displaced every minute. Two-thirds of the forcibly displaced are refugees in their own country. It was World Refugee Day on June the 20th.

(P2) The biggest reason for the record number of refugees is war, especially in Syria, Afghanistan, Burundi and South Sudan. Over 98,000 asylum requests in 2015 were from unaccompanied children. This is the highest number ever. Ninety percent of refugees are from poorer countries. Refugees have big problems at borders. These include fences in Europe, immigration laws, and hate. The U.N. said the answer is, “political action to stop conflicts“.

WORDS: 150

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1606/160622-displaced-people-1.html

VOCABULARY: forced, displaced, forcibly, asylum, unaccompanied, borders, fences, conflicts


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think more countries should help the refugees? Why or why not?
  3. Are there refugees in your country?
  4. Why do you think refugees are not allowed in some countries?


  1. The total number of refugees is lower. (T or F)
  2. When is World Refugee Day?
  3. What’s the number one reason for refugees?
  4. Refugees encounter problems like barriers, laws, and not enough money. (T or F)


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Record for refugee numbers (P1)
  • Up by 5 million (P1)
  • One in every 113 people (P1)
  • “political action to stop conflicts” (P2)

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Image source: Credit: Associated Press http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03nzsq4

One thought on “U.N. says refugee numbers at record level

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