Many Afghan families are among the newly displaced, like these people in Kabul | Photo: Jorge Silva / REUTERS
Many Afghan families are among the newly displaced, like these people in Kabul | Photo: Jorge Silva / REUTERS

The numbers of displaced people in the world has increased in the first half of 2021, according to an interim report by the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR. More than 84 million worldwide were either refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced by June 2021.

2021 has recorded new highs for the numbers of displaced people in the world, states an interim report by the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, released on Thursday, November 11.

According to the report, written up by the news agency Agence France Presse (AFP), the number of displaced people in the world increased by at least two million since the end of 2020, which had already marked a previous high.

A statement from UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi blamed the international community for "failing to prevent violence, persecution and human rights violations, which continue to drive people from their homes."

2021: Additional challenges

Additional challenges this year included the pandemic COVID-19, extreme weather events, and other factors related to climate change, as well as continuing war and unrest in many parts of the world.

The UN report noted that around 26.5 million people were living as refugees by the end of June 21, those figures include 6.6 million Syrians, 5.7 million Palestinians and 2.7 million Afghans. The report added that “some 3.9 million Venezuelans were also displaced beyond their borders without being considered refugees.

Around 4.4 million people worldwide are registered as asylum seekers. The biggest increase (more than 50% on figures from 2020) in the displaced was seen in Africa, said UNHCR. Many of those people were internally displaced in “dozens of countries.”


Africa particularly badly hit

Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Tigray province in Ethiopia forced “more than one million to flee internally in each of those countries.”

Since the Taliban took over power in Afghanistan, even more people have been either internally displaced, fleeing fighting, or have sought to leave the country via its neighbors, particularly Iran and Pakistan.

UNHCR pointed out that the “vast majority of refugees are hosted in countries neighboring crisis areas, mainly in poorer parts of the world.” Grandi stated that it “is the communities and countries with the fewest resources that continue to shoulder the greatest burden in protecting and caring for the forcibly displaced.”

Grandi called for more support for those countries from the rest of the international community.

With AFP

Read more: 'What else can we do?': Increasing numbers engage smugglers to flee Afghanistan

 

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