UN: Jump in Refugees in 2021
The number of people fleeing wars, conflicts and persecution increased significantly in the first half of 2021, especially because of the millions of people displaced in their own countries, the UN said.
In a new report, the UN Refugee Agency estimates that by the end of June, more than 84 million people worldwide were living as refugees seeking asylum or in the so-called internal displacement in their own countries.
This represents an increase of about two million people compared to the already record number at the end of 2020.
"The international community has failed to prevent the violence, persecution and human rights abuses that continue to drive people from their homes," UN Refugee President Filippo Grandi said in a statement.
In its mid-year trend report, the agency warned that many people fleeing their homes face additional challenges due to COVID-19, extreme weather conditions and other effects of climate change.
As of the end of June, about 26.5 million people were living as refugees, including about 6.6 million Syrians, 5.7 million Palestinians and 2.7 million Afghans.
Some 3.9 million Venezuelans have also been displaced outside their country without being considered refugees, and 4.4 million people have been registered as asylum seekers worldwide.
Although these numbers are small, most of the increase in global displacement seen in the first half of the year is due to people fleeing within their countries, especially in Africa.
It is estimated that more than 4.3 million people became new IDPs in dozens of countries between January and June - 50% more than in the first half of 2020, the report shows.
The escalation of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, with the escalating conflict in Tigray, has forced more than one million people to flee internally in each of these countries.
Active conflicts and violence have also increased internal displacement in places such as Myanmar, Afghanistan, Mozambique and South Sudan.
Meanwhile, less than one million internally displaced persons have been able to return home in the first half of 2021, with as many as 51 million internally displaced people remaining in the world by the end of June, compared to 48 million six months earlier.
The majority of refugees are housed in countries neighboring crisis areas, mainly in the poorer parts of the world, while internally displaced persons often find housing in already struggling communities.
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