The number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights abuses and persecution has passed the 100 million mark for the first time on record, propelled by the war in Ukraine and other deadly conflicts, the UN refugee agency said on Monday.
“One hundred million is a striking number – sobering and alarming at the same time,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “It’s a record that should never have been set.
“This should serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflict, end the persecution and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes,” Grandi added.
The war in Ukraine pushes the total up
The UNHCR said the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide was approaching 90 million at the end of 2021, propelled by new waves of violence or protracted conflicts in countries including Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar , Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Congo.
Since then, the war in Ukraine has forced over six million people to flee the country and another eight million have been internally displaced.
The figure of 100 million represents more than one percent of the world’s population and includes refugees and asylum seekers as well as people displaced within their own countries by conflict – a figure that the Observatory of internal displacement recently estimated at 53.2 million – said UNHCR. in a report.
“Not a Cure”
“The international response to people fleeing war in Ukraine has been overwhelmingly positive,” Grandi said. “Compassion is alive and we need a similar mobilization for all crises in the world.”
However, Grandi stressed that 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 play between acute danger at home or precarious flight and exile,” Grandi said.
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