According to the president of the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), millions of people have been forced to leave their homes due to wars in Sudan and Ukraine, bringing the total number of people forcibly displaced worldwide to a record 110 million.
According to a report released by UNHCR on Wednesday, the growth of around 19 million people to 108.4 million by the end of last year was the largest annual increase ever. Since then, the number has increased to 110 million, primarily as a result of the eight-week-old crisis in Sudan, according to Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
“It’s quite an indictment on the state of our world to have to report that,” he said at a Geneva press conference.
“Solutions to these movements are increasingly difficult to even imagine, to even put on the table,” he said. “We are in a very polarised world, where international tensions play out all the way into humanitarian issues.”
The Forced Displacement report revealed that the global population of refugees and internally displaced persons was essentially consistent at 40 million during the 20 years before the conflict in Syria in 2011. But since then, they have increased yearly and have now more than doubled. According to the research, more than one in every 74 persons are currently homeless.
Grandi cited “the usual package of causes,” including violence, conflict, persecution, and discrimination. Only three nations accounted for approximately half of all refugees and people in need of international protection: Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan.
Without mentioning any specific nations, Grandi expressed concerns about stricter rules for accepting refugees and opposition.
“We see increasingly a reluctance on the part of states to fully adhere to the principles of the (1951 refugee) convention, even states that have signed it,” Grandi told Reuters on the sidelines of the briefing.
However, he was upbeat about some developments, namely a deal reached by EU ministers last week on sharing responsibility for migrants and refugees.
“There are issues of some concern. By and large however, I think it’s a positive step,” he said. “We’re so happy that the Europeans agree on something.”
Additionally, he lauded Kenya, noting that the country is seeking innovative solutions for the half a million migrants it currently houses, many of the refugees from the Horn of Africa’s poverty and drought.