Refugee num­bers from Central Amer­ica soar

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

THE NUM­BER of peo­ple flee­ing vi­o­lence in Central Amer­ica is now as great as dur­ing the armed con­flicts of the 1980s.

The UN Refugee Agency said on Mon­day that the num­ber of refugees from the re­gion has in­creased since 2015, with asy­lum seek­ers from El Sal­vador nearly dou­bling from 18 900 the pre­vi­ous year to 33 600 last year, mak­ing it the coun­try in the area with the most peo­ple flee­ing.

The ma­jor­ity of those leav­ing at­tempt to mi­grate to the US, with 52% of asy­lum seek­ers en­ter­ing the coun­try from Mex­ico and Central Amer­ica.

The US also made the list as the sec­ond-largest re­cip­i­ent of new asy­lum ap­pli­ca­tions last year with 262 000.

This fig­ure was 52% higher than the pre­vi­ous year, when 172 700 claims were made. teleSUR

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