More than 100 million people are fleeing the world, more than at any time since World War II.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spoke in Geneva of a “dramatic milestone” reached as a result of the Russian war against Ukraine and the crises in Afghanistan and other countries. The terrible trend will continue unless the world community finds a way to resolve conflicts permanently, warned UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
The expulsion from Ukraine is the largest and fastest-growing similar crisis since the founding of the UNHCR in 1951, the refugee agency said in a report on refugees on Thursday.
At the end of December 2021, 89.3 million people fled the war, violence, persecution and human rights abuses, eight percent more than a year earlier. The number has been increasing for many years, at the end of 2021 significantly more than twice as many people fled than ten years before.
Waves of violence or protracted conflicts in countries such as Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have contributed to this. In addition, more than six million refugees have left Ukraine.
After Turkey, Colombia, Uganda and Pakistan, the largest host country was Germany with 1.3 million hosts.
“Either the international community will unite to do something about this human tragedy, resolve conflicts and find lasting solutions, or this terrible trend will continue,” warns Filippo Grandi.
According to UNHCR, the report also contains glimpses of hope. In 2021, the number of returned refugees and internally displaced persons reached pre-coronavirus pandemic levels. The number of voluntary returnees increased by 71 percent.