Nearly three million more displaced year-on-year, warns refugee agency chief, but solutions are within reach

Arthur Max/FM. Ministério das Relações Exteriores
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi addressing representatives of Latin America and the Caribbean at a regional meeting on migration in Brasilia, Brazil, on 19 February 2018.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The number of people forced to flee their homes last year rose by nearly three million to 68.5 million, the head of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday, warning that the world’s displacement hotspots “are becoming hotter”.

Citing ongoing, protracted violence around the globe and a lack of solutions to conflicts as reasons for the increase, Filippo Grandi said that “continuous pressure on civilians” caught up in fighting, had pushed them to leave their homes.

More than two thirds of all refugees worldwide originated from only a handful of countries, the High Commissioner told journalists in Geneva.

Top of the list is Syria, where seven years of brutal fighting have forced more than 6 million people to seek shelter abroad, followed by Afghanistan (2.6 million) and South Sudan (2.4 million).

Responding to a question about ongoing concerns over 1.5 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring host countries, including Lebanon, the High Commissioner stressed that “it’s not a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’” they will return to Syria — once conditions allow.

New disputes in 2017 were also significant contributors to global displacement.

These include the exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to Bangladesh last year, the UNHCR chief said, adding that it is still not safe for them to return, as well as 1.5 million Venezuelans who had sought shelter in neighbouring countries in Latin America.

The High Commissioner also expressed concern for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where violence has spread to formerly peaceful areas of the vast country and caused displacement figures to double in 2017, to 4.4 million.

The report also found that 85 per cent of the 68.5 million displaced last year came from poor or middle-income countries.

This, Mr. Grandi added, “should be an element dispelling the notion” that the so-called crisis is only in the rich world, “which it is not”.

He added: “It continues to be a crisis mostly of the poor world — so, people from poor countries moving to poor countries, or staying within their country, as displaced.”

In addition, 70 per cent of the world’s displaced are nationals of just 10 countries, according to the UNHCR report.

This is also significant, Mr. Grandi said, because “it means, frankly, that if there were solutions to conflicts to these countries — or some of them at least — this number could start to come down. But we haven’t seen any significant progress in peacemaking or peacebuilding in any of these 10 countries.”

Despite the rise in displacement driven by persecution and violence and the lack of conflict resolution, the High Commissioner struck a positive note, saying that UNHCR is helping to find solutions to the pressures caused by mass displacement.

To date, 14 countries, including in Latin America and Africa, have implemented positive measures to cope with an influx of refugees, the UNHCR chief said, noting that his agency continues to coordinate international efforts to create a fairer protection system for people forced to flee their countries.

The upcoming Global Compact on Refugees follows the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, in which all 193 UN Member States agreed that the responsibility for helping all those in need of international protection must be borne more equitably and predictably.

UNHCR has been engaged in consultations with Governments and other stakeholders to develop a draft compact which Mr. Grandi will present to the General Assembly later this year.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

“At the Environment Assembly citizens expect clean, not hot air”, the Head of UN Environment in Europe underscores in a Sting Exclusive

Congrats to the #FutureofMalta: a new age of voting

NEC @ MWC14: “Smart cities” hold the key to enhancing citizens’ lives and cutting costs

MARKUP initiative to boost market access to Europe for East African SMEs

Progress in medical research: leading or lagging behind?

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

European Youth cries out: Sustainable Development Goals ambitious, but lack focus on youth

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

A Sting Exclusive: “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the new Sustainable Development Agenda”, Ulf Björnholm underscores from UNEP Brussels

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

The German banks first to profit from public subsidies of trillions

EU: The Member States to pay for national banking problems

Rehn very reserved about growth in Eurozone

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

Microsoft’s YouthSpark: a kiss of Life to European Youth from the European Parliament

How many more financial crises in the West can the world stand?

Is Germany yielding to pressures for more relaxed economic policies?

Has the EU economy truly revived from the financial crisis?

Chart of the day: These are the cities where the World Cup threatens productivity the most

The Tears of lovely Memories

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

Google once more under EU crossfire from a possible record fine and new Right to be forgotten case

A Sting Exclusive: “EU’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan – Laying down the foundations for a Greener Financial System”, by European Commission’s Vice-President Dombrovskis

Palm Oil: With Malaysia cracking down on production, what’s the alternative?

This team of Saudi women designed an award-winning app to make the Hajj safer

Medical students: The need for emigration

Women-Friendly Spaces for Rohingya refugees: A place for protection and care

UN condemns attack that leaves one ‘blue helmet’ dead in Central African Republic

Nigeria floods: Guterres ‘deeply saddened’ by loss of life and rising need

Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) of 22/05/2018: EU relations with key trading partners

Three ways the Fourth Industrial Revolution is shaping geopolitics

The quality of health education around the globe

G20 LIVE: the EU trade gold rush continues as EU and Australia agree to launch Free Trade Agreement (FTA) live from Antalya Turkey

MEPs condemn attacks on civilians, including children, in Yemen

Walk, cycle, dance and play – UN health agency recommends new action plan for good health

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

MEPs demand an end to migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

Charles Michel advocates a strong Europe that acts where it can add real value

Europe united in not supporting a US attack on Syria

‘I thought I’d never get out alive’ – the Muslim director who interviewed neo-Nazis

COP21 Breaking News_07 December: “The world is expecting more from you than half-measures”, UN Secretary General Bank Ki-moon cries out from Paris

After the Italian ‘no’ and the Brexit, Germans must decide which Europe they want

UN chief urges Hamas and Israel to ‘step back from the brink of another devastating conflict’ in Gaza

Berlin to pay at the end for Eurozone banks’ consolidation

End of plastic water bottles at European Parliament

The 13th round of TTIP negotiations hits a wall of intense protests and growing concerns

More taxpayers’ money for the banks

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

Italy’s Letta: A European Banking Union soon or Eurozone collapses

No recovery for EU economy in sight and a Brexit can aggravate things for everyone

Bias in AI is a real problem. Here’s what we should do about it

Varna (Bulgaria) awarded European Youth Capital 2017

‘True’ peace, requires standing up for human rights, says UN chief Guterres

UN rights office appeals for peaceful Zimbabwe elections amid reports of intimidation

EU’s Mogherini visits Turkey “to step up engagement” and highlight interests

Far from a healthy Health Workforce: lack of workforce planning leaves our citizens without access to proper care

Service Engineer Intern – 1991

The ECB will do whatever it takes to set the Eurozone economy again in motion

Cameron’s Conservatives and UKIP are exploiting and cultivating anti-EU immigration sentiment but Labour party isn’t?

The EU can afford to invest trillions in support of employment

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s