Photo: UNHCR

Afghanistan among top three countries with highest number of displace people, UNHCR report

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has released a report that reveals the global trends of forced displacement in 2022. The report found that a total of 108.4 million people have been forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, and violence. Of these, 5.7 million are from Afghanistan.

More than half of all refugees and other people in need of international protection originate from just three countries: Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan. Syria has the highest number of refugees, with 6.5 million people displaced. Ukraine and Afghanistan are tied for second place, with 5.7 million refugees each.

The UNHCR estimates that the outflow of refugees, particularly from Ukraine, was the fastest since World War II. This was triggered by the eruption of full-scale war in Ukraine following the Russian invasion in February 2022.

The UNHCR defines refugees as people who have been forced to flee their home country due to war, persecution, or violence. They are often unable to return home because of the ongoing conflict or because their homes have been destroyed.

Asylum-seekers are people who have fled their home country and are seeking protection in another country. They are not yet considered refugees, but they have a right to apply for asylum.

Internally displaced people (IDPs) are people who have been forced to flee their homes within their own country due to conflict, violence, or natural disasters. They are not considered refugees, but they are often in need of humanitarian assistance.

The UNHCR report found that the number of people forcibly displaced increased by 8% in 2022. This is the highest number of people forcibly displaced since the agency began tracking data in 1998.

The report also found that the number of refugees and IDPs who found a solution to live a life in dignity and peace increased in 2022 compared to the previous year. However, durable solutions continue to remain a major challenge.

Durable solutions include voluntary repatriation, local integration, and resettlement to a third country. Voluntary repatriation is when refugees return to their home country voluntarily. Local integration is when refugees are able to integrate into the community where they are living. Resettlement is when refugees are permanently relocated to a third country.

The UNHCR report calls for increased international cooperation to address the global crisis of forced displacement. The agency also calls for more funding to support its work in providing humanitarian assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers, and IDPs.

“These figures show us that some people are far too quick to rush to conflict and way too slow to find solutions. The consequence is devastation, displacement, and anguish for each of the millions of people forcibly uprooted from their homes.” The report says.