100 million people displaced: an unprecedented plague of human suffering

With more than 100 million displaced people in the world, human beings who have had to leave their homes to flee wars, incessant violations of their basic rights or natural catastrophes, a sadly historic and unprecedented figure has been reached, as this Monday the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

100 million people displaced

“One hundred million is a brutal figure, as important as it is alarming. It is a record that should never have been reached,” lamented Filippo Grandi, it’s High Commissioner. “This should raise awareness to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end the persecution, and address the factors that drive innocent people from their homes,” he added, according to an official statement.

Started on February 24, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been decisive in this increase in global figures, since, since the beginning of the conflict, more than 6.5 million people have left the country, according to UNHCR data, and about 8 have left their homes behind to find a safer place within its own borders, becoming internally displaced persons. It is an exodus that could increase and reach 8.3 million, points out the same Agency.

“The international response to people fleeing the war in Ukraine has been incredibly positive. Solidarity is still maintained, and we need a similar mobilization in favour of all crises in the world. However, ultimately, humanitarian assistance is not a cure, but rather a palliative for these situations. Reversing the current trend depends solely on peace and stability so that no innocent person has to choose between living in danger of embarking on a dangerous flight into exile,” Grandi said.

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Wars and natural disasters

In addition to Ukraine, the violence in other countries has also been decisive in explaining how this disturbing number of 100 million displaced people has been reached. In countries like Ethiopia – devastated since 2020 by a harsh war that pits Tigray fighters against the Addis Ababa government, and in which Amnesty International has documented and denounced war crimes -, Afghanistan – in which the Taliban have recovered power in Kabul, once again becoming the lords of that land and trampling on the population and the few rights of women – or the Democratic Republic of the Congo – where the eastern provinces live exposed to the aggressions of armed groups -, the conflicts have also pushed its citizens to flee.

Another face of this desperation is that of the so-called climate displaced persons, about whom the Acnur also warns. According to 2020 data, natural disasters caused 30.7 million internally displaced people in 140 countries, people who left their homes behind due to cyclones, forest fires or droughts, to name just a few.

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