UN Registers Record 114 Million Displaced People Worldwide

October 26, 2023

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) agency reported Wednesday that the number of forcibly displaced people surpassed a record 114 million at the end of September.

Death Toll in Gaza from Israeli Air Strikes Exceeds 6,500

By the end of June this year, 110 million people had been forcibly displaced worldwide, 1.6 million more than at the same date in 2022, UNHCR reported in a statement noting that in the three months between the end of June and the end of September, the number of forcibly displaced increased by four million, bringing the total number to 114 million.

According to the agency, the main drivers of forced displacement in the first half of 2023 include acts of war, violence, drought, persecution, floods, insecurity and human rights violations. 

It specified that the conflict in the Middle East broke out on October 7, beyond the period covered by UNHCR. This means that the report does not include the more than 1.4 million Palestinians displaced since the start of the escalation between Israel and Hamas.

“The world’s attention is now, and rightly so, on the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. But around the world, too many conflicts are proliferating or escalating, claiming innocent lives and uprooting people,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

In the first half of 2023, population displacements were mainly due to conflicts in Ukraine, Sudan, Burma and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also to the continuing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and a mix of drought, floods and insecurity in Somalia.

In this regard, Grandi said that “the international community’s inability to resolve conflicts or prevent new ones is causing displacement and misery. We must look inward, work together to end conflicts and allow refugees and other displaced people to return home or restart their lives.”

Low- and middle-income countries are home to 75 percent of refugees and other people in need of international protection, according to UNHCR. The agency said that globally, 1.6 million new asylum applications were registered in the first half of this year, the highest number ever recorded.

In addition, the agency noted that the second Global Forum on Refugees, the world’s largest gathering on refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from December 13 to 15 this year.

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