• UNHCR counts 294,000 asylum seekers and refugees in 2017
  • Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala the main source countries

The UN has reported an alarming spike in the number of asylum seekers and refugees fleeing violence and persecution in Central America, urging the international community to take steps to meet the region’s “huge” needs.

The number of asylum seekers and refugees who had abandoned the region shot up from about 18,000 in 2011 to 294,000 at the end of last year, the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, announced. That number grew 58% last year alone.

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Read More Central Americans flee homes in record numbers: ‘The level of violence is brutal’

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