Record number of refugees worldwide: doubling in ten years

Record number of refugees worldwide: doubling in ten years

Of . – 06/16/2022 02:05 (act 06/16/2022 10:08)

According to a UNHCR report, the number of refugees worldwide has reached an all-time high.

According to a UNHCR report, the number of refugees worldwide has reached an all-time high. ©APA/HANS KLAUS TECHT (image of symbol)

The number of people fleeing or displaced across the world has reached a new record. This number has increased every year for the past decade.

In May, more than 100 million people were displaced worldwide due to persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). .

Peak number of refugees: doubling in ten years

By the end of 2021, the number of people who had fled and been displaced was 89.3 million, according to UNHCR’s “Global Trends Report” – eight percent more than the year before and more than double that of ten years ago. . Since then, the Russian invasion of Ukraine – triggering the fastest and one of the biggest displacement crises since World War II – and other emergencies in African countries, Afghanistan and beyond have pushed the number beyond the “dramatic milestone” of 100 million, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June.

More than half of refugees are internally displaced

More than half of them – 53.2 million – are internally displaced, ie internally displaced persons (IDP). Their number has increased by 5.2 million compared to 2020. According to UNHCR, this increase is due to the increase in violence in several countries, for example in Myanmar. The conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and other areas has also caused millions of people to flee within the country. Uprisings in the Sahel led to further internal displacement, particularly in Burkina Faso and Chad.

27.1 million refugees in 2021 and 4.6 million asylum seekers

Furthermore, at the end of last year, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees had 27.1 million refugees (+700,000) – 21.3 million under UNHCR mandate (+400,000) and 5.8 million Palestinians under UNHCR mandate. from UNRWA (+100,000). There are also 4.6 million people (+500,000) registered as asylum seekers and 4.4 million Venezuelans (+500,000) who have fled their homeland.

The vast majority of refugees found shelter in poorer countries

The vast majority of refugees and displaced persons (83%) found shelter in low- and middle-income countries. More than a quarter (27 percent) were accepted even by least developed countries (LDCs). No country has taken in as many refugees as Turkey (almost 3.8 million), followed by Uganda (1.5 million), Pakistan (1.5 million) and Germany (1.3 million). Colombia received 1.8 million Venezuelans who fled abroad. Lebanon hosted the highest number of refugees per inhabitant.

Turkey hosted the largest number of refugees

There was no change in the top 5 countries of origin. More than two-thirds, 69%, came at the end of 2021 – that is, before the outbreak of the refugee crisis in Ukraine – from just five countries: Syria (6.8 million), Venezuela (4.6 million), Afghanistan ( 2.7 million), South Sudan (2.4 million) and Myanmar (1.2 million).

Top 5 countries of origin: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar

According to UNHCR, the speed and extent of displacement is still greater than the possibility of finding viable solutions for the displaced, such as return, resettlement (admission to third countries) or local integration. “Unless the international community comes together to do something about this human tragedy, resolve conflicts and find lasting solutions, this terrible trend will continue,” warned UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

A Glimpse of Hope in the Global Trains report

However, the Global Trends report also contains glimmers of hope: the number of refugees and IDPs who managed to return home increased by 71% in 2021, returning to pre-corona levels.