United Nations refugee agency UNHCR warned on Friday that the number of people becoming refugees or displaced in their own countries will increase for the next 10 years.
The situation will worsen as a result of a host of intertwined causes ranging from conflict and climate change to population growth and food shortages, the agency said.
A key challenge is the increasing number of internally displaced people - 26 million globally compared to around 15-16 million refugees who have crossed borders to another country and a further million asylum-seekers.
The agency said that helping the internally displaced is becoming more costly and dangerous, citing Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq where access is difficult and conflict or criminality can present deadly risk.
"Global forced displacement reached a 16-year high in 2011 and has become more complex than ever before," said UN scretary-general Ban Ki Moon.
"Today, conflict and human rights abuses are increasingly intertwined with and compounded by other factors such as population pressure, food insecurity and water scarcity."
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