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UNHRC: Global forced displacement hits record 120 million



 Displaced people line up to get water in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Goma, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Feb 8, 2024. [Xinhua]

Forced displacement surged to a historic high of 120 million by May 2024, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)said here Thursday.

According to the UNHCR's 2024 Global Trends Report, the figure also marked the 12th consecutive annual increase.

By the end of last year, the war in Gaza had displaced up to 1.7 million people, comprising 75 percent of the population, with most being Palestine refugees, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) estimates. Meanwhile, Syria continues to be the world's largest displacement crisis, with 13.8 million people forcibly displaced both within and outside the country.

Additionally, by the end of 2023, 10.8 million Sudanese remained uprooted. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Myanmar, millions were internally displaced last year due to vicious fighting.

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, the largest increase in displacement figures was among those fleeing conflict within their own countries, reaching 68.3 million people, an almost 50 percent rise over the past five years.

The number of refugees and others in need of international protection, including those under the mandates of UNHCR and UNRWA, rose to 43.4 million. The refugees are mostly hosted in neighboring countries, with 75 percent residing in low- and middle-income nations that together generate less than 20 percent of the world's income.

Filippo Grandi, the UNHCR chief, emphasized that the increasing displacement numbers reflect numerous human tragedies and should prompt the international community to urgently address the root causes of forced displacement.

He stressed the importance of warring parties respecting international laws and highlighted that without better cooperation and efforts to resolve conflicts, human rights violations, the climate crisis and displacement will continue to rise, leading to further suffering and costly humanitarian responses.

Meanwhile, the report revealed that over 5 million internally displaced people and 1 million refugees globally returned home in 2023, indicating some progress towards longer-term solutions. 

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