International

UN: Number of displaced people worldwide tops 100M for first time

AP/Gregory Bull
Ukrainian refugees wait in a gymnasium Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Tijuana, Mexico.

The United Nations Refugee Agency on Monday announced that for the first time more than 100 million people across the world have been displaced from their homes.

The number of refugees, who are primarily driven out of their homes and living situations by war, conflict and disasters, now represents more than 1 percent of the entire world population and would equal the 14th most populous country if the people represented a nation, according to the U.N., which will release an official report on the data in June.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said the soaring numbers of internally displaced and fleeing refugees must “serve as a wake-up call” for global leaders to take more expansive action to end conflicts and prevent disasters that create the humanitarian crises.

“One hundred million is a stark figure — sobering and alarming in equal measure,” Grandi said in a statement. “It’s a record that should never have been set.”

The number of displaced inched toward 90 million with the inclusion of 2021 estimates. A total of 53.2 million people are considered internally displaced across the world, while there are about 26.6 million refugees, 4.4 million asylum-seekers and 4.1 million displaced Venezuelans.

The U.N. estimates the war in Ukraine has displaced about 8 million people from their homes, which puts the total above 100 million.

A recent U.N. report showed that of the 38 million people internally displaced in 2021, 14.4 million fled conflict and more than 23 million fled from disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes or earthquakes.

Around 25 million of the world’s internally displaced last year were under the age of 18.

Besides Ukraine, conflicts and disasters in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have created the bulk of the refugees and internally displaced, the U.N. estimates.

Grandi noted that “compassion is alive” in the world and leaders should seek to bolster efforts to address crises in troubled nations, which includes working to end warring conflicts and fund efforts to prevent disasters.

“Ultimately, humanitarian aid is a palliative, not a cure,” Grandi said in a statement. “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 and exile.”

Tags Disasters Displaced people Filippo Grandi Filippo Grandi internal displacement Natural disasters refugees refugees UNHCR United Nations United Nations Refugee Agency War War

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