For the first time, more than 100 million children, women and men are fleeing human rights violations, violence and armed conflicts. This figure was announced by the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR in Geneva. The war of aggression against Ukraine launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin is therefore contributing to a large extent to the worsening of the global refugee crisis.
At the end of 2020, more than 82 million people shared the refugee fate. The UNHCR has been reporting increasing numbers for years.
“One hundred million is a bare number, both sobering and alarming,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. Grandi asked politicians to “solve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution and address the causes that force innocent people to flee”.
According to the latest UNHCR survey, the number of people displaced worldwide will reach 90 million by the end of 2021. The UNHCR cited the conflicts and outbreaks of violence in Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other countries as reasons for the latest refugee movements.
That year, 6.4 million people fled to other countries to escape Russian aggression in Ukraine. Most people moved to the neighboring countries of Poland (3.4 million), Romania (943,000), Russia (888,000) and Hungary (627,000).
With regard to the non-neighboring countries, UNHCR does not give any exact figures, but lists Germany ahead of the Czech Republic and Italy as the main receiving countries beyond the immediate neighboring countries. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, more than 700,000 refugees from Ukraine have been registered in the central register of foreigners in Germany. The Czech Ministry of the Interior speaks of 348,000 registered refugees and the Italian one of 118,000.
However, the figures are only to be understood as approximate values; in Germany, for example, some Ukrainians have not yet been recorded, but apparently many have already traveled further or back.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of people displaced by the war within Ukraine has passed the eight million mark. “The international response to people fleeing the war in Ukraine has been overwhelmingly positive,” Grandi said. “Compassion is alive and we need a similar mobilization for all crises in the world.” Minors who are fleeing need special protection.