On World Refugee Day, more than 100M displaced for first time on record

Two-thirds of people displaced across borders come from just 5 countries

FILE - Syrians walk along in a refugee camp for displaced people run by the Turkish Red Crescent in Sarmada district, north of Idlib city, Syria, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. Fallout from the 2-month-old war in Ukraine is worsening long-term humanitarian crises elsewhere, including in Syria. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File) (Francisco Seco, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

June 20 marks World Refugee Day and for the first time on record, more than 100 million people have been forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution, according to the United Nations.

“One hundred million is a stark figure – sobering and alarming in equal measure,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told the U.N. “This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes.”

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Two-thirds of people displaced across borders come from just five countries, and Syria is one of them. The other four countries are Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar, according to the U.N.

After 11 years of the Syrian Civil War, humanitarian needs are not lessening. They are piling up, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

The U.N. Refugee Agency said about 13.5 million Syrians, more than half of its population, have been displaced since the civil war started in March 2011.

Humanitarian needs have been pushed to their highest levels since the conflict began as a result of the war’s destruction of basic infrastructure deepening the economic crisis, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said in a March statement.

He said that Syrians have been subjected to human rights violations on a massive and systematic scale.

About 14.6 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance. About three-quarters of all households in Syria could not meet their most basic needs in 2021, 10% more than the year before, the U.N. Refugee Agency said.

The Syrian Civil War started after a nonviolent uprising in 2011. Many motives led to the civil war, but the Arab Spring is one significant event to trigger the conflict.

Arab Spring refers to a series of political and economic protests in parts of the Arab world, including Egypt and Tunisia, in spring 2011, according to History. The successful revolts inspired Syrians to hold nonviolent protests.

“We must ensure greater humanitarian access to address needs of people throughout the country,” Guterres said in the statement. “It is time to respond to the urgent calls of families across Syria who are seeking to clarify the fate and whereabouts of their missing loved ones.”


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