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The main findings of the report titled Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2021 (released in June 2022), which has been prepared by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), are as follows (please click here and here to access): 

• The main focus of this report is the analysis of statistical trends and changes in global forced displacement from January to December 2021 among populations for whom UNHCR has been entrusted with a responsibility by the international community. 

• At the end of 2021, the total number of forcibly displaced people (i.e., those who were forced to flee their homes due to conflicts, violence, fear of persecution and human rights violations) worldwide was 89.3 million, while the total population of concern to UNHCR stood at 94.7 million people. 

• The total population of concern to UNHCR relates to the people UNHCR is mandated to protect and assist. It includes those who have been forcibly displaced; those who have returned within the previous year; those who are stateless (most of whom are not forcibly displaced); and other groups to whom UNHCR has extended its protection or provided assistance on a humanitarian basis.

• People displaced inside their own countries due to armed conflicts, generalized violence or human rights violations continue to constitute the majority of the forcibly displaced population globally. Known as internally displaced people, or IDPs, they account for some 60 percent of all people displaced. 

• According to Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) figures, in 2021 there were 23.7 million new internal displacements globally due to disasters (these are in addition to those internally displaced due to conflict and violence). This represented a decrease of seven million, or 23 per cent, compared to the previous year. 

• The largest displacements in the context of disasters in 2021 occurred in China (6.0 million), the Philippines (5.7 million) and India (4.9 million). Most disaster displacements during the year were temporary, allowing the majority of internally displaced people (IDPs) to return to their home areas, but 5.9 million people worldwide remained displaced at the end of the year due to disasters. 

• In 2021, UNHCR improved the recording of statistics relating to those asylum seekers who do not require Refugee Status Determination (RSD), with 9,400 of them arriving during the year. This compares with 81,700 new asylum applications that did require RSD in 2021, an increase from the 50,300 in 2020, principally in Malaysia, Libya, Egypt and India.

• Over the span of the year, the number of refugees worldwide increased from 20.7 in 2020 to 21.3 million at the end of 2021, more than double the 10.5 million a decade ago.

• With millions of Ukrainians displaced and further displacement elsewhere in 2022, total forced displacement now exceeds 100 million people. This means 1 in every 78 people on earth has been forced to flee – a dramatic milestone that few would have expected a decade ago.

Rural Expert

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