According to a record-breaking estimate released by the UN on Wednesday, there are currently more than 114 million people living outside their houses due to forcible eviction.
“The number of people displaced by war, persecution, violence and human rights violations globally is likely to have exceeded 114 million at the end of September,” UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, said in a statement.
The main drivers in the first half of 2023 were the conflicts in Ukraine, Sudan, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo; a prolonged humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan; and a combination of drought, floods and insecurity in Somalia, UNHCR said.
“The world’s focus now is rightly on the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. But globally, far too many conflicts are proliferating or escalating, shattering innocent lives and uprooting people,” said UN refugees chief Filippo Grandi.
“The international community’s inability to solve conflicts or prevent new ones is driving displacement and misery. We must look within, work together to end conflicts and allow refugees and other displaced people to return home or restart their lives,” he said in a statement.
As per UNHCR’s Mid-Year Trends Report, which examines forced displacement in the first half of 2023, 110 million people have been forcibly displaced globally by June 30. The number increased by 1.6 million from the close of 2022.
The latest number was a record since the organization started gathering data in 1975, a UNHCR spokesman told AFP.
As a result of Israel’s withering bombardment on Gaza following an unprecedented cross-border offensive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA estimates that there are around 1.4 million internally displaced people in Gaza.
More than half of all people who are forced to flee never cross an international border, UNHCR said.
Its mid-year report said that globally, almost one-third of all forcibly displaced people originated from just three countries: Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine.
“As we watch events unfold in Gaza, Sudan and beyond, the prospect of peace and solutions for refugees and other displaced populations might feel distant,” said Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
“But we cannot give up. With our partners we will keep pushing for and finding solutions for refugees.”