More than 100 million people are forcibly displaced around the world, the United Nations says

Russia’s war in Ukraine pushed the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide to exceed 100 million for the first time ever, the United Nations said Monday.
“The number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution has now surpassed the staggering 100 million milestone for the first time, driven by the war in Ukraine and other deadly conflicts,” said the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
The “alarming” figure must shake the world to end the conflicts by forcing record numbers to flee their homes, UNHCR said in a statement.

UNHCR said the number of forcibly displaced people had risen to 90 million by the end of 2021, driven by violence in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, and since then more than eight million people have been internally displaced, while more than six million refugees have fled across the border.

‘alarm’

“One hundred million is an absolute figure, which is sobering and alarming in equal measure. It is a record that should never have been set,” said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi.
“This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end the persecution and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes.”
The figure of 100 million represents more than one percent of the world population. Only 13 countries have a larger population than the number of forcibly displaced people in the world.
The figures combine refugees, asylum seekers and more than 50 million displaced people within their own countries.

“The international response to people fleeing the war in Ukraine has been extremely positive,” said Grandi.

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“Compassion is alive and we need similar mobilization for all crises in the world. But ultimately, humanitarian aid is a palliative, not a cure.
“To reverse this trend, the only answer is peace and stability so that innocent people are not forced to gamble between acute danger at home or precarious flight and exile.”

UNHCR will present comprehensive data on forced displacement in 2021 in its annual Global Trends Report, scheduled for publication on June 16.

‘Never been this bad’

More than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least 20 countries still deny access to asylum to people fleeing conflict, violence and persecution, based on measures to crack down on the virus.
Mr. Grandi asked those countries on Friday to lift the remaining asylum restrictions linked to the pandemic, saying they violate a basic human right.

“I am concerned that measures taken under the pretext of responding to COVID-19 are being used as a cover to exclude and deny asylum to people fleeing violence and persecution,” he said.

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A joint report last week from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said that around 38 million new internal displacements were reported in 2021. Some of these were forced by people to flee several times during the year.
The figure marks the second highest annual number of new internal displacements in a decade after 2020, which has seen record-breaking movements due to a series of natural disasters.
Last year, new internal displacements particularly due to the conflict rose to 14.4 million, marking a 50% jump from 2020, the report showed.
“It has never been this bad,” NRC chief Jan Egeland told reporters.
“The world is falling apart.”

Natural disasters continued to account for the majority of new internal displacements, spurring 23.7 million such movements in 2021.