Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

2022 saw the sharpest rise in people forcefully displaced due to violence, climate crises

Over 108 million people displaced by end of 2022, driven by war in Ukraine, climate disasters

The number of people who were uprooted from their hometowns due to social and climate crises in 2022 was 21 per cent higher than in 2021 — the largest increase ever, according to a new report.

In actual numbers, 19.1 million more people were pushed out of their homes last year over 2021, the report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) noted.

More than 108.4 million people were forcibly displaced by the end of 2022, 30 per cent of them children, showed the report released June 14, 2023.

Of these, 35.3 million were people who had to move to another country for safety (refugees), according to the Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2022 report, an annual publication by the United Nations refugee agency.

A large share of refugees were from Ukraine, pushed out by the full-blown war in their country, the analysis showed. The displacement of Ukrainians also was the global fastest since World War II, growing from 27,300 at the end of 2021 to 5.7 million at the end of 2022, UNHRC noted.

The total number of people displaced across the world increased to 110 million by May 2023, driven by the fresh conflict in Sudan, the agency estimated.

Climate disasters caused 32.6 million internal displacements throughout 2022 and 8.7 million of the people did not manage to return home by the end of the year. The data was collected from the latest analysis by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, an international non-profit.

Disaster related internal displacement accounted for more than half (54 per cent) of all new
displacements in 2022, the report added.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said:

These figures show us that some people are far too quick to rush to conflict, and way too slow to find solutions.

Another worrisome statistic that emerged from the analysis was that poorer countries had to bear the biggest burden of this humanitarian crisis. Not only did 90 per cent of the displaced population come from low- and middle-income countries, these nations also hosted 76 per cent of the world’s refugees in 2022, the report showed.

Low-income countries, which have limited resources to adapt to the situation and account for only 0.5 per cent of global gross domestic product, hosted 16 per cent of the refugees. “This included very large refugee populations in Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda,” the analysts wrote.

The 46 countries with the poorest development indicators or the Least Developed Countries hosted 20 per cent of the global refugee population, the findings of the report showed. This includes Bangladesh, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.
The share has, however, decreased over last year’s because a large number of people displaced from Ukraine settled in neighbouring countries in Europe.

The refugee crisis has many layers and one of them is born out of statelessness. Stateless people are those who are not recognised as citizens by any government. As refugees, these people find it all the more difficult to avail the basic amenities like health, education and employment in the countries they have sought asylum in because they lack nationality documents.

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, the report noted.

The global refugee body called for urgent, collective action to address the causes of displacement as well as reduce the impact on those who have been uprooted.

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