UN: Global number of displaced people crosses 100 million, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine

100 million people forcibly displaced worldwide represents over 1% of the global population and would be equivalent to the 14th most populous country in the world

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, May 23, 2022, 12:37 PM IST
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The number of forcibly displaced people around the world has gone above 100 million for the first time ever, the United Nations says | AFP

"The number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution has now crossed the staggering milestone of 100 million for the first time on record, propelled by the war in Ukraine and other deadly conflicts," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says.

In a statement, UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi says this 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.”

Eight million Ukrainian people have been displaced within their home country as a result of the war, along with more than six million refugee movements registered from Ukraine.

Last year, the UN tally of those displaced rose to 90 million because of violence and conflict in countries including Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The international response to people fleeing war in Ukraine has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Grandi.

“Compassion is alive and we need similar mobilisation 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 or exile.”

The term “displaced person” was first used during the second world war, in which more than 40 million people were forcibly displaced.

100 million people forcibly displaced worldwide represents over 1% of the global population and is equivalent to the 14th most populous country in the world.

The number includes refugees and asylum seekers as well as the 53.2 million people displaced inside their borders by conflict.

Last week, the International Organization for Migration informed that a record 59.1 million people were displaced within their homelands last year, four million more than in 2020.

Conflict and violence triggered 14.4 million internal displacements in 2021, a nearly 50 per cent increase over the previous year.

Meanwhile, weather-related events such as floods, storms and cyclones resulted in some 23.7 million internal displacements in 2021, mainly in the Asia-Pacific region.

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