UNHCR: Over 100 million forcibly displaced in the world

Refugees wait in a crowd for transportation after fleeing from Ukraine and arriving at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, March 7, 2022. (MARKUS SCHREIBER /AP)

GENEVA – More than 100 million people have been driven from their homes around the world, the UN refugee agency said on Monday, citing new data about those escaping violence, conflict, persecution and human rights violations.

It's a record that should never have been set … This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes.

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees 

The conflict in Ukraine has been one of the factors propelling millions of people to flee, the UNHCR said, adding that protracted conflict in places like Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo were other factors behind the high numbers.

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"It's a record that should never have been set," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi in a statement sent to journalists. "This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes."

The UNHCR data includes refugees, asylum seekers and those displaced within their own countries. Last week, an humanitarian body said those displaced within their own countries had reached a record of close to 60 million people by the end of last year.

Grandi urged action to address the causes of displacement, saying humanitarian aid was only treating the consequences.

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"To reverse this trend, the only answer is peace and stability so that innocent people are not forced to gamble between acute danger at home or precarious flight and exile," he added.