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The total number of people living in sub-Saharan Africa who were forced to leave their homes due to conflict reached a new high of 18.4 million in 2017, up sharply from 14.1 million in 2016 – the largest regional increase of forcibly displaced people in the world, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees data.

The world’s displaced population has increased dramatically since 2012, reaching its highest levels since World War II. The Middle East drove much of the increase between 2012 and 2015 due to conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, but in 2017, the vast majority of growth has come from displaced populations living in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2015, the region’s displaced population has jumped by 42%, with most of this increase taking place in 2017 alone. By comparison, the number of displaced people living in the Middle East-North Africa region fell 8% between 2015 and 2017, though it remains the world’s largest…

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