Despite the pandemic, the number of people fleeing war and persecution continued rising last year, with global displacement climbing to over 82 million—double the figure a decade ago, the United Nations said.
A fresh report from the UN refugee agency showed global displacement figures swelled by around three million in 2020 after an already record-breaking year in 2019, leaving a full one percent of humanity uprooted and displaced.
The report highlighted how drawn-out crises like those in Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen were continuing to force people to flee, while eruptions of violence in places like Ethiopia and Mozambique were causing surging displacement.
The fact the numbers rose for the ninth straight year was all the more devastating as COVID-19 restrictions were expected to limit displacement.
During the pandemic, “everything else has stopped…but wars and conflict…have continued,” the UNHCR chief said.