Global displacements hit record 110 million driven by Ukraine, Sudan wars: UN

Geneva, June 14 (EFE).- The number of people who have been displaced around the world reached a record 110 million, the United Nations Refugee Agency warned on Wednesday.

UNHCR recorded the biggest annual jump in the number of displaced persons in 2022 with 19.1 million people fleeing their homes, according to the annual Forced Displacement report.

The sudden spike in displacements has been driven by the war in Ukraine and the Sudan conflict, with 108.4 million displacements reported by 2022, a figure that continued to grow this year.

“We have 110 million people that have fled because of conflict, persecution, discrimination, violence, often mixed with other motives, in particular the impact of climate change,” UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi told reporters.

According to Grandi, 76% of displaced people take refuge in low and middle income countries.

The majority, 70%, also flee to neighboring nations, he added.

Of the 108.4 million who have fled their homes in 2022 due to conflicts, natural disasters and other crises, 62.5 million are internally displaced persons while 35.3 million refugees have fled to other countries.

“These figures show us that some people are far too quick to rush to conflict, and way too slow to find solutions. The consequence is devastation, displacement, and anguish for each of the millions of people forcibly uprooted from their homes,” Grandi said.

Turkey hosts the most refugees with 3.6 million, many of them Syrians, followed by Iran with 3.4 million refugees mostly from Afghanistan and Colombia with 2.5 million mainly Venezuelan refugees.

Syria is the leading country from where more people have fled with 6.5 million, followed by Ukraine and Afghanistan with 5.6 million each.

Venezuela came fourth with 5.4 million followed by South Sudan’s 2.2 million and Myanmar with 1.2 million, according to statistics from late 2022.

Since then, nearly half a million refugees have fled the ongoing conflict in Sudan that started in mid-April.

The UNHCR report highlights that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked “fastest and one of the largest” flows of refugees since World War II.

On a positive note, some 6 million people (339,000 refugees and 5.7 million internally displaced persons) returned to their homes in 2022.

Most of those were in Ethiopia after a ceasefire put an end to a two-year conflict in the northern Tigray region, but countries like Myanmar, Syria, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have also seen the return of large numbers of refugees.

Grandi highlighted the generosity of many host communities towards refugees and displaced persons but stated that so far the UNHCR has only received a third of the funds it needs for 2023.

“Above all, much more must be done to end conflict and remove obstacles so that refugees have the viable option to return home voluntarily, safely and with dignity,” Grandi said.EFE


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