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In 2013, 232 million people – 3.2 per cent of the world's population – lived outside their country of origin. The majority of migrants cross borders in search of better economic and social opportunities. Others are forced to flee crises. Internal migration within countries is also on the rise. The West and Central Africa region is heavily affected. In just five countries alone – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – up to 41 million youth under 25 years of age are at risk of radicalization or migration.

The magnitude and complexity of migration makes it an important force in development and a high-priority issue for both developing and developed countries. The fact that almost half of all migrants are women, most of reproductive age and requiring sustained access to reproductive health services and commodities, is another reason this a pressing issue for UNFPA.