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Refugee agency says Ukraine, other conflicts forcibly displaced total over 100 million for first time

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Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2022. 12:47 pm CST.

Photo Credit: © UNHCR/Sufyan Said

By Aaron Humes: Worldwide, more than 100 million people have been forcibly displaced by conflict, violence, human rights violations, and persecution – almost as many as the current 14th most populated country in the world, Egypt, and over 1 percent of the total world population.

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), or UN Refugee Agency, says the rise in figures started with new waves of violence or protracted conflict in countries including Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Russia-Ukraine war is responsible for displacing eight million citizens within the latter and six million outside it.

The figure includes refugees and asylum seekers as well as the 53.2 million people displaced inside their borders by conflict, according to a recent report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

High Commissioner Filippo Grandi says the world could have done without this statistic: “One hundred million is a stark figure — sobering and alarming in equal measure. It’s a record that should never have been set…This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes.”

“The international response to people fleeing war in Ukraine has been overwhelmingly positive,” Grandi added. “Compassion is alive and we need a similar mobilization for all crises around 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 release its annual Global Trends Report on June 16, outlining a full set of global, regional and national data on forced displacement for 2021, as well as more limited updates to April 2022, and details on returns and solutions.

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