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110 Million People Displaced Around the world

 

Refugees at the Mediterranean (Photo by UNHCR)

Refugees at the Mediterranean (Photo by UNHCR)

By Shakeel Sobhan (Deutsche Welle) – A record 110 million people have been displaced around the world as the conflict in Sudan contributed to a crisis already underway due to the war in Ukraine, according to a UNHCR report released on Wednesday.

The report indicated that global forced displacement continues to rise unabated. By the end of 2022, the number of people displaced rose by a record increase of 19.1 million compared to the previous year, driven by conflicts and climate-related upheaval.

“We are talking about people who are really forced out of their homes by violence — by war,” UNHCR spokesperson Chris Melzer told DW.

“It is a disaster actually for humankind,” he added.

The UN refugee agency report also said poorer countries, rather than wealthy nations, disproportionately bore the responsibility of hosting displaced individuals.

Those displaced would often end up in a nearby country, even if the conditions were only marginally better, while many Western nations remained reluctant to take on board the people forced to flee their homelands.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said that without solutions the “consequence is devastation, displacement, and anguish for each of the millions of people forcibly uprooted from their homes.”

The report also highlighted that almost 4.4 million people worldwide were stateless or of undetermined nationality by the end of 2022 — a 2% increase compared to the previous year.

Ukraine war displaced millions

According to the UN refugee agency’s Global Trends in Forced Displacement 2022 report, 35.3 million displaced individuals were categorized as refugees, having crossed international borders in search of safety. A larger portion — 58% and representing 62.5 million people — faced displacement within their own countries.

In 2022, the war in Ukraine was the primary cause of displacement as the number of refugees skyrocketed from 27,300 at the end of 2021 to 5.7 million by the end of the year. This was the largest refugee outflow since World War II.

Additionally, Colombia and Peru reported higher numbers of Venezuelans seeking international protection, while the report estimates that the number of Afghan refugees in Iran also swelled.

Poorer countries bear burden

The UNHCR report highlighted that low- and middle-income countries, rather than wealthy nations, continue to shoulder the burden of hosting displaced people. Despite contributing less than 1.3% of global gross domestic product, the 46 least developed countries hosted over 20% of all refugees.

Fillipo Grandi UNHCR Commisioner (UNHCR photo)

Fillipo Grandi UNHCR Commisioner (UNHCR photo)

Grandi called for more international support and a fairer distribution of responsibilities, particularly with the countries hosting a significant number of displaced individuals.

At the same time, the report also offered a glimmer of hope while pointing out that among those forced to flee previously, many were able to return voluntarily and safely.

In 2022, over 339,000 refugees returned voluntarily to 38 countries, while 5.7 million internally displaced individuals returned home to Ethiopia, Myanmar and Syria, among others.

“There is hope, there are solutions, but we have to work on more — and better — solutions,”  DW.

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