0451 GMT June 26, 2022
“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 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The “alarming” figure must shake the world into ending the conflicts forcing record numbers to flee their own homes, the UNHCR said in a statement.
UNHCR said the numbers of forcibly displaced people rose towards 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 launched its military operation in 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.
“One hundred million is a stark figure – sobering and alarming in equal measure. It’s a record that should never have been set,” said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi.
“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 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 people forcibly displaced in the world.
The figures combine refugees, asylum-seekers, as well as more than 50 million people displaced inside their own countries.
More than two years on since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least 20 countries still deny access to asylum for people fleeing conflict, violence, and persecution based on measures to clamp down on the virus.
Grandi called Friday for those countries to lift any remaining pandemic-related asylum restrictions, saying they contravene a fundamental human right.