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120 Million People Displaced Worldwide in 2023, UNHCR

A new record 120 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide due to conflict, violence and persecution, according to a recent United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) report.

The overall number of refugees reached a whopping 117.3 million people as of the end of 2023, representing a significant increase from the previous year. This figure has likely increased even further during the first half of 2024.

Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, attributed this rise to ongoing conflicts and the impact of climate change.

“This year, for the 12th consecutive year, the number of refugees and displaced people has grown from 114 to 120 million. Behind these numbers lie just as many human tragedies, which only solidarity and concerted action can alleviate and resolve,” Grandi wrote in an “X” post announcing the report yesterday.

The UNHCR report covers the agency’s response to 43 emergencies across 29 countries in 2023. Some of the worst hit places include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gaza, and Myanmar.

The ongoing civil war in Sudan, according to UNHCR, has resulted in the displacement of nearly 11 million people as of the end of last year. Of these, nine million have been internally displaced, while two million have sought refuge in neighboring countries, such as Chad, Egypt, and South Sudan.

The UN agency reported that the Syrian crisis continues to be the world’s largest displacement driver, with 13.8 million people internally and externally displaced.

The report also highlighted the fact that over half of the displaced individuals are still within their own countries. However, the number of refugees and those requiring international protection has risen to 43.4 million.

The UNHCR findings challenge the widely held belief that most refugees flee to wealthy countries. The report reveals that 75% are hosted in low- and middle-income nations, which collectively generate less than 20% of global income.