The 2019 High Commissioner for Refugees reports shows that 45.7 of the 79.5 million people uprooted in late 2019 had fled to other parts of their country, while the rest went abroad.
Almost 80 million people fled war, conflict or persecution in 2019. This is an unprecedented number. This is what was revealed this Thursday by the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). These forced displacements represent more than 1% of humanity, that is to say, one person in 97 who is uprooted. There were 79.5 million internally displaced persons and refugees in 2019. Never in some 70 years of existence has the UNHCR recorded more forced displacement in the world. In 2018, there were 70.8 million uprooted.
According to the UNHCR, the prospects for a rapid end to the suffering of the refugees “are getting more and more diminished. ” Thirty years ago, a million and a half refugees could hope to return to their country each year. Over the past decade, that number has risen to around 385,000, out of nearly 80 million displaced.
In ten years, 100 million people have had to flee
The 2019 High Commission for Refugees reports shows that 45.7 of the 79.5 million people uprooted in late 2019 had fled to other parts of their country. The rest have gone abroad. And in the past decade, at least 100 million people have been forced to flee their homes to seek refuge in their country or abroad.
This annual increase in the number of uprooted people is mainly due to two factors. The UNHCR first points to the ” worrying new waves of displacement in 2019″, notably in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sahel, Yemen and Syria. The second factor concerns the situation of Venezuelans outside their country, many of whom “are not legally registered as refugees or asylum seekers”.
Difficult access to education for uprooted children
Over 80% of refugees also end up in developing countries with fragile health systems. But UNHCR is also worried about already uprooted children who have more than difficult access to education. The pandemic has closed schools in the camps. The displaced children are more than 30 million, the cumulative total of the populations of Australia, Denmark and Mongolia.
A situation made worse by the closure of borders linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus has already hit a vulnerable and precarious population hard. This is the case of Syrians refugees in Lebanon for whom the virus “has further exacerbated their difficulties, ” said Céline Schmitt, spokesperson for the UNHCR. More than half of the refugees interviewed in May by UNHCR said: ” they have lost their livelihoods, including their jobs because these are often daily jobs”. Over 70% of them said “that they have been forced to cut down on the number of their meals per day”. “You cannot expect people to live in turmoil for years without the possibility of going home or building a future for themselves, “said United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grownup.
We must adopt a fundamentally innovative and more welcoming attitude towards those who flee.
He calls for “an end to the conflicts that have persisted for years and are the source of this intense suffering” . UNHCR urges all countries around the world ” to do more to provide a home for the millions of refugees and other people uprooted by conflict, persecution or any other event that upsets public order”.