More than 5 million people have fled Ukraine | Photo: Frank Hoffmann/DW
More than 5 million people have fled Ukraine | Photo: Frank Hoffmann/DW

The war in Ukraine has made the situation for refugees around the world much more difficult, a representative of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said.

Following the conflicts of the past decade in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine is now affecting the lives of refugees around the world negatively, a UNHCR spokesperson said.

"The conflict has further worsened the situation of many of the approximately 84 million displaced people on earth, as food has already become scarcer and significantly more expensive worldwide," the acting UNHCR office director in Germany, Roland Bank, said in remarks published by the Funke media group in Germany.

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Painting a dire picture

Bank said that food prices have risen everywhere, as have fuel prices, posing new challenges for humanitarian groups and for the work of the UNHCR. With further price hikes expected in areas like natural gas, the safety and wellbeing of refugees around the world is once more under threat.

Bank added that millions of people around the world had already lost their livelihoods in the past two years due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic — long before the war in Ukraine had begun.

As of Friday, the UNHCR's tally of the number of people who have fled Ukraine stood at 5.08 million. At 2.8 million, Poland has received the most of any neighboring country, followed by Romania, Russia, Hungary and Moldova.

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with dpa, KNA


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