The number of people around the world displaced by war, persecution, violence, and human rights abuses likely exceeded 114 million at the end of September, UNHCR, the United Nations’s refugee agency said Wednesday.
That total does not include an estimated 1.4 million people who have been displaced within Gaza owing to the conflict between Israel and Hamas which began in early October.
“The world’s focus now is — rightly — on the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “But globally, far too many conflicts are proliferating or escalating, shattering innocent lives and uprooting people,” he added.
One in every 73 people on earth is displaced. The war in Ukraine, along with conflicts in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Myanmar, in addition to intense drought, flooding, and instability in Somalia, as well as the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, have all contributed to record displacement, the UNCHR’s Mid-Year Trends Report reveals. Low and middle-income countries are hosting the majority of refugees and people in need of international protection. “The international community’s inability to solve conflicts or prevent new ones is driving displacement and misery,” Grandi said. In the weeks leading up to the Israel-Hamas war, Gallup data showed that most Palestinians have little to no confidence in U.S. President Joe Biden’s ability to help negotiate a fair peace deal between Israel and Palestine.
Israel’s call last week for thousands of civilians to evacuate northern Gaza ahead of a planned ground invasion could amount to a “war crime of forcible transfer,” some human rights advocates say. Experts said there is a fine line between a warning of a future lawful attack and a threat. “International humanitarian law actually requires attacking forces to warn civilians of planned attacks if possible,” international law expert Adil Haque told the New York Times. A threat, by contrast, takes place when a country informs a civilian population that it’s about to “launch unlawful attacks, indiscriminate attacks, attacks that don’t take precautions for civilians, disproportionate attacks,” Haque said.