"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," said UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
The figures combine refugees, asylum-seekers, as well as more than 50 million people displaced inside their own countries.
The 100 million figure amounts to more than one percent of the global population, while only 13 countries have a bigger population than the number of forcibly displaced people in the world.
UNHCR said the number of forcibly displaced people rose toward 90 million by the end of 2021, spurred by violence in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and since then, more than eight million people have been displaced within the country, while more than six million refugees have fled across the borders.
UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi, said, "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."
He continued, "Compassion is alive and we need a 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 and exile."
Grandi called for those countries to lift any remaining pandemic-related asylum restrictions, saying they contravene a fundamental human right.
"I am worried that measures enacted on the pretext of responding to Covid-19 are being used as cover to exclude and deny asylum to people fleeing violence and persecution."
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) chief Jan Egeland told reporters, "It has never been as bad as this. The world is falling apart."
Number of displaced people passes 100 million for first time, says UN (france24.com)
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