Internacionales

UN refugee agency: Food crisis to push displacement levels even higher

The number of displaced has increased every year over the past decade — and it is now more than double the 42.7 million people displaced in 2012. Millions have fled Ukraine or been displaced within its borders, with price hikes linked to blocked grain exports set to stoke more displacement elsewhere. (AP Archive) A food security crisis stoked by the Ukraine conflict is set to push more people to flee their homes in poorer countries, driving record levels of global displacement even higher

A report by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) showed on Thursday that some 89.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, abuse and violence at the end of 2021

Since then, millions more have fled Ukraine or been displaced within its borders, with price hikes linked to blocked grain exports set to stoke more displacement elsewhere

“If you have a food crisis on top of everything I have described – war, human rights, climate – it will just accelerate the trends I've described in this report,” UNHCR head Filippo Grandi told journalists this week

“Clearly the impact if this is not resolved quickly will be pretty devastating.” Already, more people were fleeing as a result of price hikes and violence in Africa's Sahel region, he said

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Grim numbers

Overall, the number of displaced has increased every year over the past decade, the UNHCR report says. It is now more than double the 42.7 million people displaced in 2012

Grandi also criticised what he called a “monopoly” of resources given to Ukraine whereas other programmes to help the displaced were underfunded

Ukraine should not make us forget other crises,” he said, mentioning a two-year-old conflict in Ethiopia and a drought in the Horn of Africa

The European Union's response to refugee crises has been “unequal”, Grandi added

He compared the bickering between states over taking in small groups of migrants crossing the Mediterranean by boat with EU countries' generosity with Ukrainian refugees since Russia's offensive began in February

“Certainly it proves an important point: responding to refugee influxes, to the arrival of desperate people on the shores or borders of rich countries is not unmanageable,” he said

The report says that low-and-middle income countries hosted 83 percent of the world's refugees at the end of 2021

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Source: Reuters