UN: Over 100 million people displaced worldwide after fleeing conflict areas, a new record




  • In World
  • 2022-05-24 16:30:02Z
  • By Fox News

The United Nations warned of a grim new milestone this week: For the first time on record, over 100 million people have fled conflict zones, persecution or human rights violations around the world.

"One hundred million is a stark figure - sobering and alarming in equal measure. It's a record that should never have been set," said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

The massive number would amount to the 14th most populous country in the world.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the tally of people displaced by fighting approached 90 million by the end of 2021.

TOP RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT QUITS OVER UKRAINE WAR, SLAMS PUTIN

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has propelled the global problem. Over 6 million residents have escaped the country so far, and nearly 8 million people are displaced within Ukraine.

Violence in Ethiopia, Congo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan and Burma have also caused mass exoduses of refugees this year.

"This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes," Grandi said.

It's been three months since Russia invaded Ukraine. The overall displacement has represented the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.

While surrounding countries largely have welcomed Ukrainians escaping the war, the impact continues to weigh on governments and the individual families housing asylum seekers.

MORE THAN 6M DISPLACED IN UKRAINE DUE TO RUSSIA'S, INVASION, NEARLY 8K CASUALTIES

The vast majority of Ukrainian refugees, some 3.3 million people, went to Poland. 80% of them have been housed in private Polish homes.

Rzeszow, a Polish city near the border, has since doubled in size. Its mayor claimed the city will soon need new schools.

This weekend, Ukraine's ambassador to Poland urged the European Union to support Ukrainian refugees financially, to alleviate the cost on host families.

"It's a warm and healthy welcome. But how long can they keep them? And it's understandable for me, and it's also understandable for my compatriots. They understand that there are some limits," Ambassador Andrii Deshchytsia told The Associated Press.

In Lithuania this week, the country's Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste asked the EU to create a fund for countries supporting Ukrainians.

Skaiste said the average cost of supporting an asylum seeker is roughly 500 euros per month, equivalent to about $535.

While the economic strain and housing impact has reverberated across Europe, city leaders argue they won't turn anyone away.

"The international response to people fleeing war in Ukraine has been overwhelmingly positive," Grandi said. Still, he argued that it's only a temporary fix. "Ultimately, humanitarian aid is a palliative, not a cure. To reverse this trend, the only answer is peace and stability so that innocent people are not forced to gamble between acute danger at home or precarious flight and exile."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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