The United Nations Refugee Agency has cited conflicts not only in Ukraine but also disasters and war in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to calculate that the world's total number of displaced persons has now surpassed 100 million for the first time in recorded history.
"One hundred million is a stark figure — sobering and alarming in equal measure," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Monday. "It’s a record that should never have been set" - which should "serve as a wake-up call," according to the official.
"To reverse this trend, the only answer is peace and stability so that innocent people are not forced to gamble between acute danger at home or precarious flight and exile," Grandi said.
Specifically on Ukraine, the new UN statement said, "In 2022, the war in Ukraine has displaced 8 million within the country this year and forced around 6 million to leave the nation."
The UN is expected to release a comprehensive official report covering the new data in June. "The number of refugees, who are primarily driven out of their homes and living situations by war, conflict and disasters, now represents more than 1 percent of the entire world population and would equal the 14th most populous country if the people represented a nation," according to preliminary details from the UN.
Many among the total 100 million are internally displaced persons in conflict zones and disaster stricken regions, such as Yemen. Significantly, that figure represents 1% of the world's total population.
A quarter of those are under the age of 18. "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," Grandi urged.
Over 100 million people forcibly displaced in the world, @Refugees says— Seifesilassie Gebremeskel (@SeifGebre) May 23, 2022
The war in Ukraine & protracted conflict in places like Ethiopia & DR of Congo were factors behind the high numbers.https://t.co/bNFBTiEVcn
An estimated 38 million were internally displaced within their home countries in 2021, which includes 14.4 million impacted by conflict, and 23 million fleeing natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes.
The UN statement added that "Meanwhile, weather-related events such as floods, storms and cyclones resulted in some 23.7 million internal displacements in 2021, mainly in the Asia-Pacific region."
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Meanwhile according to the latest note from Rabobank:
Inflation and geopolitical instability aren’t going to go away any time soon. Linking the two, as one should, a former German ambassador to Moscow tells @Tagesspiegel that President Putin is hoping his blockade of Ukraine’s grain supplies will lead to a migration crisis, with starving people then fleeing to Europe, that destabilizes the EU and pushes them to soften sanctions on Russia. Does he look wrong in that call when Germany, France, and Italy are already hardly hawkish? More pointedly, does the West have any answers to a hybrid warfare that weaponizes food, as in the past?