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UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, presented the latest annual report Global Trends in 2019

Conflicts, violence and persecutions, human rights violations, precarious living conditions, food insecurity and malnutrition due to climate and natural catastrophes fuels displacement internally or beyond the borders of the home country. For people, who meet the need to save their lives feeing their own countries, displacement become a live-threatening adventure for years. 

Talking about the scale of forced displacement worldwide Filippo Grandim, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, commented: Forced displacement nowadays is not only vastly more widespread but is simply no longer a short-term and temporary phenomenon.” He highlighted also the need of changing the perspective of how to elaborate solutions, essential for overcoming the challenges met by forced migrants:   

We need a fundamentally new and more accepting attitude towards all who flee, coupled with a much more determined drive to unlock conflicts that go on for years and that are at the root of such immense suffering.

According to the latest report Global Trends, the number of people forcibly displaced has doubled over the past decade to almost 80 million, which is about 1% of all humanity.  Over 45 million were people who had fled to other areas of their own countries, what mean that internally displaced people (IDP) currently make up the majority of displaced population. The rest were people displaced elsewhere, 4.2 million of them being people awaiting the outcome of asylum requests, while 29.6 million were refugees and others forcibly displaced outside their country.

Majority (2/3 of the world’s refugees) were from only five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. But more than 70% of refugees find shelter in neighbourhood countries. 

By the end of 2019, Venezuela faced the largest displacement crises in the world. Over 4.5 million Venezuelans had left their country, mostly to other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. UNHCR declared numbers of 93,300 refugees, 794,500 asylum-seekers and 3.6 million Venezuelans displaced abroad. Colombia is hosting nearly 1.8 million displaced Venezuelans, and by the end of 2019 was the second country with largest displaced population in the world, after Turkey. 

UNHCR listed several major crises contributed to the massive displacement over the past decade:

•    the outbreak of the Syrian conflict early in the decade, which continues today
•    South Sudan’s displacement crisis, which followed its independence
•    the conflict in Ukraine
•    the arrival of refugees and migrants in Europe by sea
•    the massive flow of stateless refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh
•    the outflow of Venezuelans across Latin America and the Caribbean
•    the crisis in Africa’s Sahel region, where conflict and climate change are endangering many communities
•    renewed conflict and security concerns in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia
•    conflict in the Central African Republic
•    internal displacement in Ethiopia
•    renewed outbreaks of fighting and violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
•    the large humanitarian and displacement crisis in Yemen.

Kseniya Homel
The European and Migration Policy Programme
Institute of Public Affairs

Forcibly displaced now account for 1% of humanity – UN report