Nearly 71 million people were forcibly displaced in 2018—the highest number in at least 70 years.
“The global trends, once again, unfortunately, go in what I would say is the wrong direction,” The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi stated.
According to a report released by the United Nations Refugee Agency, the number is an increase of more than two million from the previous year. Officials credited the rise with the international community’s failure to stop conflicts in Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Venezuela, where most of the displaced people originated. Half of those forcibly displaced are children.
“80% of the refugees, so the people who have left their country, are in the next country, so, this image—I’ve said it many times, but it bears repeated it—you know, when you say, ‘Europe has a refugees’ emergency, of the United States, or Australia.’ No. Most of the refugees are, in fact, in the countries next to where the war is,” Grandi explained. “And unfortunately, that means mostly in poor countries, or in middle-income countries. That’s where the crisis is.”
UN officials also said the problem lies in growing international “xenophobia, racism and intolerance, violent misogyny, and also anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred.”