Ukraine War, Conflict, Climate Adds More to Displacement

The war in Ukraine, alongside other conflict and climate-driven upheaval led more people to leave their homes last year, heightening the urgency for immediate, collective action to alleviate the global crisis, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said.   

The number of people displaced by war, persecution, violence, and human rights abuses stood at a record 108.4 million in 2022. This was up 19.1 million on the previous year – which was also a record increase.This means more than one in 74 people worldwide remained forcibly displaced. Low and middleincome countriesreported ninety percent of the displacement. All these details come up in the agency’s flagship annual report, Global Trends in Forced Displacement 2022.

“These figures show us that some people are far too quick to rush to conflict, and way too slow to find solutions. The consequence is devastation, displacement, and anguish for each of the millions of people forcibly uprooted from their homes,” High Commissioner for Refugees FilippoGrandi said.

The report showed that 35.3 million of the total were refugeeswho crossed an internationalborder to find safety. Meanwhile, 58 per cent, representing 62.5 millionpeople were internally displaced due to conflict and violence.


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the top driver of displacement in 2022. The number of refugees soared from 27,300 at the end of 2021, to 5.7 million at the end of 2022. This represented the fastest outflow of refugees anywhere since World War Two.

Turkey, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Colombia, Germany and Pakistan hosted the largest refugee populations at the end of 2022. This included people in refugee-like situations and other people in need of international protection. More than 87 per cent of all refugees and other people in need of international protection originated from just ten. 

The report mentioned that Syrians accounted for almost one in five refugees globally, with 6.5 million hosted in 131
countries. Over three-quarters, 77 per cent, resided in neighbouring countries including Turkey (3.5 million),
Lebanon (814,700) and Jordan (660,900).


Europe, including Turkey, hosted more than one-third (36 per cent) of all refugees. The number of refugees in European countries rose from seven million at the end of 2021 to 12.4 million at the end of 2022. Turkey remained the largest refugee-hosting country in the world, with 3.6 million refugees at end-2022. Germany hosted nearly 2.1 million.


The number of refugees hosted in the Asia and the Pacific region rose from 4.2 million in 2021 to 6.8 million by the end of the year. It was nearly 20 per cent of the global total.  In the Islamic Republic of Iran, a further 2.6 million Afghans were recorded in a Government-conducted exercise.49 Previously undocumented Afghans, who voluntarily participated in this exercise, included new arrivals and those that were already in the country, often for many years. In Pakistan, a further 178,100 Afghans were recorded during the year.

Over 90 per cent of all refugees in the region are hosted in just three countries: the Islamic Republic of Iran (3.4 million), Pakistan (1.7 million) and Bangladesh (952,400).


At the end of 2022, 800,600 refugees and 5.2 million others in need of international protection resided in
countries in the Americas region. Venezuelan formed the major portion. The total of six million reflects an increase
of 17 per cent from end-2021. Colombia (2.5 million), Peru (976,400) and Ecuador (555,400) hosted the largest populations of refugees and other people in need of international protection in the region.


Countries in sub-Saharan Africa hosted one in five of all refugees globally. A total of seven million refugees remained displaced at the end of 2022, a slight increase from the previous year. The East and Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region hosted 4.7 million refugees, primarily in Uganda (1.5 million), Sudan (1.1 million) and Ethiopia (879,600), which is consistent with the previous year. West and Central African countries hosted 1.6 million refugees at the end of 2022, 5 per cent more than 2021. Almost 85 per cent of all refugees in the region resided in Chad (592,800), Cameroon (473,900) and Niger (255,300). Countries in Southern Africa continued to host slightly more than three-quarters of a million refugees (773,000), with most residing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (520,500).


The number of refugees hosted by countries in the Middle East and North African region declined by two per cent to stand at 2.4 million at the end of 2022. This happened because of population verification exercises in Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.
At the end of 2022, Lebanon (818,900), Jordan (697,800), Egypt (294,600) and Iraq (273,700) hosted 87 per cent of all refugees in the region.


The year 2022 saw the highest number of 2.6 million new asylum applicationsever recorded. More than two in five of the new asylum applications were made by nationals from Latin America and the Caribbean, notably from
Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The United States of America remained the largest recipient of asylum applications, receiving 730,400 new claims, nearly four times more than during 2021


“People around the world continue to show extraordinary hospitality for refugees as they extend protection and help to those in need,” Grandisaid. “But much more international support and more equitable responsibility sharing is required, especially with those countries that are hosting most of the worlds displaced,” he said.

At the end of 2022, an estimated 4.4 million people worldwide were stateless or of undetermined nationality, a full two per cent more than at the end of 2021. 


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