UNITED NATIONS, Nov 12 (APP): The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said that more than 84 million people were forced to abandon their homes in the first half of this year.
The displacement was largely driven by people escaping the effects of climate change and fleeing from violence, especially in Africa, the agency reported.
“The international community is failing to prevent violence, persecution and human rights violations, which continue to drive people from their homes,” Filippo Grandi, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, said in his agency’s statement. “In addition, the effects of climate change are exacerbating existing vulnerabilities in many areas hosting the forcibly displaced.”
The agency on Thursday released its midyear trend report, which accounted for January to June 2021. This year’s figures marked an increase from 82.4 million displaced people at the end of 2020.
Flaring conflict and violence around the world during the first half of this year forced nearly 51 million people to flee within their own countries, with most new displacements occurring in Africa.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) witnessed 1.3 million displacements and Ethiopia, 1.2 million, the report detailed.
Meanwhile violence in Myanmar and Afghanistan also saw an increase in the number driven to leave home.
At the same time, the number of refugees also continued to increase during the first half of the year, reaching nearly 21 million.
UNHCR said it observed that most new refugees came from just five countries: Central African Republic, 71,800; South Sudan, 61,700; Syria, 38,800; Afghanistan, 25,200; and Nigeria, 20,300.
“The international community must redouble its efforts to make peace, and at the same time must ensure resources are available to displaced communities and their hosts”, warned the High Commissioner.
A lethal mix of conflict, COVID-19, poverty, food insecurity and the climate emergency has compounded the humanitarian plight of the displaced, most of whom are being hosted in developing regions.
“The effects of climate change are exacerbating existing vulnerabilities in many areas hosting the forcibly displaced”, said the High Commissioner.
And solutions for forcibly displaced populations remain in short supply.
During the first half of the year, less than one million internally displaced people and 126,700 refugees were able to return home.
“It is the communities and countries with the fewest resources that continue to shoulder the greatest burden in protecting and caring for the forcibly displaced, and they must be better supported by the rest of the international community”, Grandi added.