110 million people forcibly displaced as wars add to world refugee crisis

110 Million People Forcibly Displaced As Wars Add To World Refugee Crisis
Migration Global Refugees, © Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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By Renata Brito, Associated Press

The number of people who have had to flee their homes because of conflict, persecution or human rights violations has reached 110 million, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The war in Sudan, which has displaced nearly two million people since April is the latest in a list of crises that has led to the record-breaking figure.


“It’s quite an indictment on the state of our world,” refugee agency head Filippo Grandi said ahead of the publication on Wednesday of the UNHCR Global Trends Report for 2022.

Last year, an additional 19 million people were forcibly displaced – including more than 11 million who fled Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in what became the fastest and largest displacement of people since the Second World War.

“We are constantly confronted with emergencies. Very few make our headlines, ” Mr Grandi said, the agency recording 35 emergencies last year, three to four times more than in previous years.

Migration Global Refugees
Ukrainian refugees play with frisbees as they wait in front of a gymnasium in Tijuana, Mexico.  (Gregory Bull AP)


Mr Grandi said the war in Sudan fell off most front pages after Western citizens were evacuated.

Conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Myanmar were responsible for displacing more than one million people within each country in 2022.

The majority of the displaced globally have sought refuge within their nation’s borders.


One-third of them – 35 million – have fled to other countries, making them refugees, according to the UNHCR report.

Most refugees are hosted by low to middle-income countries in Asia and Africa, not rich countries in Europe or North America, Mr Grandi said.

Turkey hosts the most refugees with 3.8 million people, mostly Syrians who fled the civil war, followed by Iran with 3.4 million refugees, mostly Afghans.

Migration Global Refugees
An evacuee from Sudan, sits in a shuttle bus after arriving with a British military transport aircraft at Larnaca airport, Cyprus (Petros Karadjias, AP)


There are more than 5.7 million Ukrainian refugees scattered across countries in Europe and beyond.

The number of stateless people has also risen in 2022 to 4.4 million, according to UNHCR data, but this is believed to be an underestimate.

Regarding asylum claims, the US was the country to receive the most new applications in 2022 with 730,400 claims. It’s also the nation with the largest backlog in its asylum system, Mr Grandi said.


“One of the things that needs to be done is reforming that asylum system so that it becomes more rapid, more efficient,” he said.

The United States, Spain and Canada recently announced plans to create asylum processing centres in Latin America with the goal of reducing the number of people who trek their way north to the Mexico-US border.

As the number of asylum-seekers grows, so have the challenges facing them.

Migration Global Refugees
In this photo provided by the Spanish Defence Ministry passengers from Sudan disembark from a Spanish Air Force aircraft at Torrejon Air Base in Madrid  (Spanish Defence Ministry via AP, File)

“We see pushbacks. We see tougher and tougher immigration or refugee admission rules. We see in many countries the criminalization of immigrants and refugees, blaming them for everything that has happened,” Mr Grandi said.

Last week European leaders renewed financial promises to North African nations in the hopes of stemming migration across the Mediterranean while the British government insists on a so-far failed plan to ship asylum-seekers to Rwanda, something UNHCR is opposed to.

But there were also some wins, Mr Grandi said, pointing to what he described as a positive sign in the European Union’s negotiations for a new migration and asylum pact, despite criticism from human rights groups.

Mr Grandi also celebrated the fact that the number of refugees resettled in 2022 doubled to 114,000 from the previous year. But he admitted this was “still a drop in the ocean.”

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