Levels of forced displacement worldwide reach new high: UNHCR

rexport found that the number of forcibly displaced people rose to 120 million by May 2024, marking the 12th consecutive annual increase – as a result of ongoing crises as well as emerging conflicts and is increasing.

Major contributing factors

The main reason for the huge numbers found in the report is the war between rival armies in Sudan that forced 10.8 million people to flee their homeland by the end of 2023.

Furthermore, millions of people were internally displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Myanmar last year because of brutal conflict.

The report said the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) an estimated 75% of the population in the Gaza Strip – about 1.7 million people – have been displaced.

However, Syria still holds the record in terms of absolute numbers with 13.8 million people forcibly displaced within and across its borders.

Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees speak, “Behind these clear and growing numbers lie countless human tragedies. That suffering must galvanize the international community to take urgent action to address the root causes of forced displacement.”

Increase 50% in 5 years

The UNHCR The trends report notes that people trying to escape conflict who remained in their countries contributed to the largest increase in displacement. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, the number has increased to 68.3 million people – an increase of nearly 50% in five years.

In addition, the number of refugees and people in need of international protection increased to 43.4 million at the request of UNHCR and UNWRA.

It is time for warring parties to respect the basic laws of war and international law.” Mr. Grandi said. “The reality is that without better cooperation and concerted efforts to address conflicts, human rights abuses and the climate crisis, the number of displaced people will continue to rise, bringing new suffering and costly humanitarian responses.”

Refugees return home

According to the report, more than 5 million internally displaced people and 1 million refugees worldwide returned home in 2023. That same year, the number of resettled people increased to 154,300.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said last year the millions of people who returned home “represent an important ray of hope. Existing solutions – we have seen countries like Kenya take the lead in accepting refugees – but there needs to be real commitment.”

He also said that “Refugees – and the communities that host them – need solidarity and a helping hand. They can and do contribute to society when they are involved.”

UNHCR said it is committed to providing “new approaches and solutions” to assist millions of displaced people worldwide.


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