The war in Ukraine, violent crises in Nigeria and other nations have pushed the number of displaced persons worldwide to over 100 million, says the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The UN agency, in a statement on Monday, said new data showed that the number of displaced people worldwide rose to 90 million by the end of 2021, propelled by new waves of violence or protracted conflict in countries, including Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The statement added that the war in Ukraine had displaced eight million within the country this year, and more than six million refugee movements from Ukraine registered.
According to the UNHCR, 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 UNHCR commissioner in Nigeria, Filippo Grandi, while stating that the figure must “serve as a wake-up call” for more action to promote peace and address all causes of forced displacement, said, “One hundred million is a stark figure – sobering and alarming in equal measure. It’s a record that should never have been set.”
He added, “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.”
The statement, corroborating a recent report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), noted that at over one per cent of the global population, the overall figure is equivalent to the 14th most populous country in the world, including refugees and asylum seekers as well as the 53.2 million people displaced inside their borders by conflict.
“The international response to people fleeing war in Ukraine has been overwhelmingly positive. Compassion is alive, and we need a similar mobilisation for all crises around the world,” Grandi stressed. “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.”