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110m People displaced by war, climate change, rights abuses worldwide: UN Report

UN Headquarters in New York, United States

*The United Nations Refugee Agency in its recent Global Trends in Forced Displacement 2022 report ‘largely’ blames the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war for contributing to the displacement of over 108.4 million people worldwide, resulting devastation, displacement, and anguish for each of the millions of the affected individuals

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

A new United Nations (UN) report has disclosed that over 110 million people were forced to abandon their homes over the past year as war, climate disasters and humanitarian crises led to record-level displacement around the world.

ConsumerConnect learnt the report on the Global Trends in Forced Displacement 2022, which the UN Refugee Agency released Wednesday, June   14, 2023, largely blamed the ongoing conflict in Ukraine for contributing to the displacement of 108.4 million people worldwide, up 19.1 million from the year before.

According to the report, masses also fled political persecution and human rights abuses, leading to a staggering number of cases, which was set to rise even higher this year as a fresh war in Sudan pushed the global total of displacements to more than 110 million through May 2023.

The total includes 62.5 million people displaced in their home countries due to war and violence, while another 35.3 million were classified as refugees after crossing international borders in search of safer ground.

Refugees from Ukraine surged to 5.7 million at the end of 2022, up from just 27,300 at the end of the previous year — which was the largest movement of refugees since World War II.

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, stated in the report: “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.”

Consequences of socio-economic dislocations

The agency also found that the number of people in Iran fleeing conflict in Afghanistan was sharply higher at the end of 2022, while thousands of miles away in South America, Venezuelans were flooding into Colombia and Peru in search of “international protection.”

Due to geography, many of the world’s poorest nations have been forced into major humanitarian roles to address the refugee explosion, but were struggling under the sheer enormity of the crisis, the report said.

“The 46 least developed countries account for less than 1.3% of global gross domestic product, yet they hosted more than 20% of all refugees.

“Funding for the numerous displacement situations and to support hosts lagged behind needs last year, remaining sluggish in 2023 as requirements increase,” said the report.

Grandi called for “much more international support and more equitable responsibility sharing” in addressing the issue.

He further noted: “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.”

The UN report notes that several refugees eventually return home once unfavorable circumstances have settled.

It stated that in 2022, over 339,000 refugees returned to 38 countries worldwide, although this figure was lower than the previous year, while more than 5 million internally displaced — refugees in their own countries — returned home in 2022, notably within Ethiopia, Myanmar, Syria, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The report comes as the UN Refugee Agency is planning to host the second Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, where world leaders will gather to negotiate new strategies to confront the problem.

The Global Report on Internal Displacement, released last month by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, had estimated that 71.1 million people were living as refugees in their own countries at the end of 2022, which was 20 percent higher than the year before, and an all-time high for the number of displaced people across the globe.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has transplanted 16.9 million inside the country, which was shaping up to become one of the largest diasporas for any country in world history.

About 60% of those displaced by global conflicts could be found in Ukraine as scores of people continue to flee the rapidly shifting frontline.

The United States ranked sixth in the world for the most people displaced by climate disasters with 543,000.

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