Historical record of forced displacement: 100 million refugees and 4.6 million asylum seekers

At the end of 2021, there were 89.

Historical record of forced displacement: 100 million refugees and 4.6 million asylum seekers

At the end of 2021, there were 89.3 million people forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events that seriously disturbed public order, according to the latest annual report of 'Global Trends : forced displacement in 2021' from UNHCR. That is to say, 8% more compared to the previous year and more than double in relation to the figure of ten years ago, as reported by the UN Refugee Agency. Now, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other emergencies have pushed that figure past the 100 million milestone. More than 27 million were refugees and more than 53 million internally displaced persons.

On the other hand, 4.6 million were asylum seekers and another 4 million were Venezuelans displaced abroad.

Low- and middle-income countries hosted, at the end of the year, 83% of refugees and displaced persons abroad. And 72% lived in neighboring countries to their countries of origin. Turkey became at the end of 2021 the country that received the largest number of refugees worldwide with almost 4 million. It was followed by Colombia (with more than 1.8 million people), Uganda (1.5 million), Pakistan (1.5 million), and Germany (1.3 million).

Related to displaced Venezuelans abroad, the island of Aruba hosted the largest number of them (one in six), while Lebanon hosted the largest number of refugees (one in eight), followed by Curaçao, Jordan and Turkey.

In terms of their origin, 69% (that is, more than two thirds) of all the refugees and Venezuelans displaced abroad came from only five countries: Syria (6.8 million), Venezuela (4.6 million ), Afghanistan (2.7 million), South Sudan (2.4 million), and Myanmar (1.2 million). Likewise, boys and girls represent 41% of the total forcibly displaced population when they represent 30% of the world population.

In total, almost one and a half million new asylum applications were registered, with the United States being the world's largest recipient (more than 188,000), followed by Germany, Mexico, Costa Rica and France. As a result, the number of asylum seekers reached 4.6 million, that is, it increased by 11%.

The speed and scale of forced displacement continues to outpace available solutions. Even so, the report contains glimmers of hope: 5.7 million displaced people were able to return to their areas or countries of origin in 2021, including 5.3 million internally displaced persons and 430,000 refugees. Almost 58,000 refugees were also resettled according to government statistics. A figure that is equivalent to two thirds more than the amount of the previous year (35,000 in 2020).

Although the number of stateless people is estimated to have increased slightly in 2021, around 81,200 people acquired a new nationality or had it confirmed, marking the largest annual reduction in statelessness since 2014.