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Record 110 million people worldwide displaced: UNHCR report

Syrian refugee camp on the outskirts of Athens. Over 6.6 million Syrians were forced to flee their home since 2011. Photo by Julie Ricard on Unsplash

The number of people displaced worldwide has reached a record 110 million, with the wars in Ukraine and Sudan forcing millions from their homes, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said while publishing the latest report on Wednesday.

UNHCR’s flagship annual report, Global Trends in Forced Displacement 2022, found that by the end of 2022, the number of people displaced by war, persecution, violence and human rights abuses stood at a record 108.4 million, up 19.1 million on a year earlier, which was the biggest ever increase.

The upward trajectory in global forced displacement showed no sign of slowing in 2023 as the eruption of conflict in Sudan triggered new outflows, pushing the global total to an estimated 110 million by May.

Of the global total, 35.3 million were refugees, people who crossed an international border to find safety. In contrast, a more significant share – 58 per cent, representing 62.5 million people – were displaced in their home countries due to conflict and violence.

The number of refugees from Ukraine soared from 27,300 at the end of 2021 to 5.7 million at the end of 2022 – representing the fastest outflow of refugees anywhere since World War II.

In 2022, over 339,000 refugees returned to 38 countries, and though was lower than the previous year there were significant voluntary returns to South Sudan, Syria, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire. Meantime, 5.7 million internally displaced people returned in 2022, notably within Ethiopia, Myanmar, Syria, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

At the end of 2022, an estimated 4.4 million people worldwide were stateless or of undetermined nationality, 2 per cent more than at the end of 2021.

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