MOSCOW: The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide due to conflicts and persecution has doubled over the recent decade, and reached over 82 million people in 2020, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said in its report on trends in global forced displacement.
The report has been released ahead of UN-sponsored World Refugee Day, which is June 20.
“By the end of 2020, the number of people forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and events seriously disturbing public order had grown to 82.4 million, the highest number on record according to available data.13 This was more than double the level of a decade ago (41 million in 2010),” the agency said.
As a result, over one percent of the world’s population – or 1 in 95 people – is now forcibly displaced, the agency said, recalling that in 2010 these estimates were 1 in 159.
Over 26 million of those displaced are considered to be refugees, the UN said, adding that almost one million children were born as refugees in the period between 2018 and 2020.
People had to flee their homes in spite of the UN appeal for a global ceasefire amid the pandemic back in March 2020, the agency said, adding that last year will be remembered as “a year like no other.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all facets of life, causing millions of deaths around the world and leading to human suffering, economic recession, restrictions on human mobility and severe limitations on daily life,” the report said.
Turkey remains the country with the largest population of refugees worldwide – 3.7 million, followed by Colombia, Pakistan, Uganda and Germany, according to the report. Sixty-eight percent of all refugees originate from just five countries – Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.