Al-Ahed News – Nearly 80 million people — comprising one percent of the world population — were uprooted and displaced due to war, violence, and persecution by the end of last year, marking a near-doubling of global displacement in a decade, the United Nations [UN] refugee agency said.
In its annual Global Trends report released on Thursday, the UNHCR said that one in every 97 individuals around the world, or an unprecedented 79.5 million people, were forcibly displaced, either externally or internally, as of the end of 2019 due to conflict, persecution, violence or events seriously disturbing public order.
“This almost 80 million figure — the highest that UNHCR has recorded since these statistics have been systematically collected — is of course a reason for great concern,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. He added that a full 68 percent of the world’s refugees come from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.
According to the report, some 45.7 million of the total number of the displaced are those who fled to other areas of their own countries, and the rest were people displaced elsewhere, 4.2 million of them being people awaiting the outcome of their asylum requests, while 29.6 million were refugees and others forcibly displaced outside of their country.
The figure increased by around nine million people compared to 2018 and is nearly double the 41 million recorded in 2010, the report said, stressing that fewer and fewer of those who flee were able to return home.
“We need a fundamentally new and more accepting attitude towards all who flee, coupled with a much more determined drive to unlock conflicts that go on for years and that are at the root of such immense suffering,” Grandi added.
Grandi said that countries had to continue granting asylum to those in need, despite border closures and lockdown measures in place to contain the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The new report comes just two days ahead of June 20, the World Refugee Day. The occasion is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees across the globe.