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The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has reported on Wednesday that there are currently more than 114 million people forcibly displaced around the world. The displacement is primarily due to factors such as war, persecution, violence, and human rights violations. The 114 million figure is a record since the UNHCR began collecting data in 1975.
In the first half of 2023, population displacements were primarily caused by conflicts in Ukraine, Sudan, Burma, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Additionally, the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and a combination of drought, flooding, and insecurity in Somalia have contributed to this crisis. More than half of all displaced people have been forced to cross international borders. Notably, Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine are home to nearly one-third of the world’s displaced people.
The UNHCR has expressed concern about the growing number of conflicts and the international community’s inability to resolve them, leading to displacement and suffering. The report estimates that there were 110 million displaced people in the world in mid-June 2023, an increase of 1.6 million from the same period in 2022. However, this figure likely exceeded 114 million by the end of September.
It’s important to note that these figures do not include the 1.4 million Palestinians who were displaced within the Gaza Strip during the conflict that takes place there.
By mid-2023, 35.8 million people had fled to other countries, while 57 million were internally displaced persons. Low and middle-income countries host the majority of refugees and those in need of international protection. Iran and Turkey are the countries hosting the most refugees, each with 3.4 million, followed by Germany and Colombia with 2.5 million each, and Pakistan with 2.1 million.
Notably, 1 in 6 people on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba and 1 in 7 people in Lebanon are refugees. In Syria, nearly half of the population remained displaced in mid-2023, with 6.7 million internally displaced and 6.7 million refugees abroad and asylum-seekers, primarily in Turkey.
The report also indicates that a record number of individual asylum applications were filed in the first half of 2023, with 540,600 applications in the USA, 150,200 in Germany, and 87,100 in Spain. During this period, 3.1 million people returned home, including 2.7 million displaced persons.
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