The UN notes a record number of refugees in the world.

On Thursday, the world celebrates World Refugee Day. According to UN estimates, there are currently almost 71 million people in the world who have been forced to leave their homes because of wars, persecution, and conflicts. This is the highest figure since the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees was established 70 years ago.

More than two-thirds of the refugees are from only five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia.

Turkey has been the leader in terms of the number of refugees admitted for the fifth year. Then followed Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan, and Germany.

Filippo Grandi

As noted by the High Commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, statistics show that the greatest burden is not borne by the rich countries.

“When it is said that there is a refugee crisis in Europe, the US or Australia, it is not so, – says Grandi. – In fact, most of the refugees are in countries adjacent to those where there is a war. Unfortunately, this means that we are talking about poor or middle-income countries. That’s the crisis. That’s what you need to focus on.”

Grandi notes that a large number of old, recurrent and new conflicts are occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. “The old ones are, for example, Somalia.

Repeated – Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan. New – for example, the situation in the English-speaking parts of Cameroon. This is a relatively new conflict. There are 30,000 Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria and a large number of displaced persons in the country itself.”

Grandi insists that the refugees would prefer to return home. Unfortunately, they have to live longer and longer in limbo, because it is becoming increasingly difficult to find sustainable solutions to their problems.

According to him, new conflicts that generate new refugees arise faster than solutions can be found. In 2018, of the more than 70 million internally displaced persons, fewer than 600,000 were able to return home and only 92,400 were settled in other countries.