Record 120m people forcibly displaced globally: UN

Friday, Jun 14, 2024

GENEVA: A staggering total of 120 million people are living forcibly displaced by war, violence and persecution, the UN said on Thursday, branding the ever-increasing number a “terrible indictment on the state of the world”.

The United Nations´ refugee agency UNHCR said forced displacement globally had once again smashed records, with conflicts in places like Gaza, Sudan and Myanmar forcing even more people to flee their homes.

The global displaced population is now equivalent to that of Japan, it pointed out in a statement. “Conflict remains a very, very big driver of mass displacement,” UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi told reporters.

At the end of last year, 117.3 million people were displaced, UNHCR said in a report. And by the end of April, the number had swelled further, with an estimated 120 million people around the world living in displacement.

The number is up from 110 million a year ago, and has been rising for 12 consecutive years -- nearly tripling since 2012 amid a combination of new and mutating crises and a failure to resolve long-standing ones, UNHCR said.

Grandi told AFP he had been shocked at the high displacement figure when he took the job eight years ago. Since then it has “more than doubled”, he said, describing this as “a terrible indictment on the state of the world”. Grandi pointed to a palpable increase in crises, and also highlighted how climate change is impacting population movement and driving conflicts.