70.8 million people uprooted worldwide in 2019

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has just released its annual statistical report on uprooted people. By the end of 2018, the organization had 70.8 million people forced out of their homes against their will. This number has never been higher in nearly 70 years of the Office of the High Commissioner based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Displaced people in 2019, UNHCR
Displaced people in 2019, UNHCR

Of these, 41.3 million are IDPs, that is, they have remained in their country. 25.9 million had to find refuge outside the borders of their country. Finally, 3.5 million people are asylum seekers. In one year, 2.3 million people have joined the ranks.

Since 2012, the number of uprooted people has doubled, partly because of the war in Syria that destabilizes the entire West Asia region, but also because of the conflicts in Afghanistan, Yemen, Burma, South Sudan, Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, and many other countries. Thus, Central and Eastern Africa are particularly affected, as shown by the world map of refugees in 2019. Turkey is the country that hosts the most refugees.

World - Refugees (2019)
World – Refugees (2019). Source: UNHCR (click to enlarge)

War, violence and persecution have generated a record level of population displacement around the world. Famines and climate change have also caused many people to flee their homes.

Half of those are under 18 years old. Children are particularly affected by the phenomenon, especially girls. Women are also more often victims of violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, and gender-based persecution.

In total, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees counts 74,791,939 people supported by its services in 2019. That is the equivalent of a large country like Turkey.

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