The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced hundreds of civilians to leave their homes and flee to neighbouring countries for their safety. According to the United Nations (UN), over one million people have already fled from the war-torn country. The European Union (EU) said that another four million people are expected to enter several European nations, which would be welcomed with open arms. However, once forced to displace, refugees often live the rest of their lives with trauma, fear and uncertainty. At the same time, some refugees from Ukraine have left for western countries like Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova. In a small count, others have entered eastern countries like Russia and Belarus.
More Than 38 Million People Have Been Displaced
The war triggers the refugee crisis and displaces people with little or no homes to return. The fight lasted longer than on the battlefield, with guns, tanks, and missiles for the displaced population. The aftermath of the battle includes a lack of access to healthcare, housing, employment, sanitation and community. Global military crisis and armed conflicts have repeatedly triggered the refugee crisis over several centuries in different parts of the world. More than 38 million people have been displaced in the war zones of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Syria. The refugees live in resettlement camps in their own countries or abroad in grossly inadequate conditions.
In countries with armed conflicts, the refugees face several difficulties renewing their visas and accessing civil rights. Moreover, the fear of deportation and anxiety further enhance the pre-existing mental trauma and distress. As per the global trends report of Forced Displacement in 2020 published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide due to persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events alarming public order. Developing countries provided asylum to 86 per cent of the refugees in the whole world, and the least developed countries hosted about 27 per cent of the refugees.
Impact Of COVID On Refugees
Forcibly displaced people are refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced people, and Venezuelans displaced abroad. It includes refugees and other displaced people not covered by UNHCR's mandate and excludes different categories such as returnees and non-displaced stateless people. To further aggravate the ongoing refugee crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic wrecked several economies, leading to human suffering, restrictions on human mobility, and many limitations to people's daily lives. However, the COVID crisis brought several countries down the number of incoming refugees. This further raises the concerns for international human rights organizations to consider the hostile situations people in conflict-ridden countries must be living in.
Currently, the world has 26.6 million refugees—the highest ever seen; 50.9 million internally displaced people; and 4.4 million asylum-seekers. Additionally, 4.1million Venezuelans were displaced abroad, the UN Refugee Agency mentioned. By the end of 2021, the East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region hosted nearly 5 million refugees. The region, as discussed above, hosts 67 per cent of the refugees in the African continent and 20 per cent in the whole world. For instance, the Tigray region in Ethiopia led to the internal displacement of 3 million Ethiopians by the end of last year.
90% OF Rohingyas Are Refugees In Bangladesh, Malaysia
El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have experienced a dramatic escalation in violence by organized criminal groups, locally called maras, in the American and the South American continents. By 2021, the number of refugees displaced abroad grew to 4 million. In the South-Asian region, Rohingyas have become a stateless minority. The vast majority of Rohingya refugees are women and children, including newborn babies, and many others are older adults requiring additional aid and protection. Since the beginning of racist violence against Rohingyas in Myanmar in 2017, 90 per cent of Rohingyas now live as refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia.
Even though mainstream media portrays that developed countries do more than their fair bit to provide help and aid to people fleeing warring countries, the statistics from world organizations tell a whole new story. The rich nations, incredibly the best, are failing miserably to provide safety and security to people fleeing their countries due to armed conflicts. On the contrary, the developing and the least-developed countries are doing more than they can to help out the refugees. A report by Amnesty International mentioned that developing countries host over 85 per cent of the refugees. Moreover, half of the total refugees worldwide are children, thus making matters even worse. Nearly 1.4 million people in the world need immediate resettlement.
Syria- Leading Country For Refugees Since 2014
In 2019, more than two-thirds of all refugees came from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. Syria has been the leading country of origin for refugees since 2014, and at the end of 2019, there were 6.6 million Syrian refugees hosted by 126 countries worldwide. The astonishing statistics mention that only half a per cent of the total refugees in the world were resettled by 2019. In the last decade, just over 1 million refugees have been resettled with basic amenities compared to 3.9 million people who have returned to their homes.
Wealthier states continue to formulate policies that increase the difficulty for people seeking asylum and are continuously working to find new ways of stopping people altogether. In a highly hypocritical move, more prosperous nations continue to put the onus of providing asylum to people seeking refuge in their neighbouring countries. Restrictive and short-sighted policies force women, men and children to take dangerous land and sea journeys, putting their lives at risk and fuelling human rights abuses.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) concluded its report by saying, "Sustaining and enhancing support to host governments and communities remains critical, as does expand access to resettlement and complementary pathways". The world urgently needs a new, global plan based on genuine international cooperation and a meaningful and fair sharing of responsibilities. The wealthiest countries in the world need to stop putting the onus on the countries that already lack resources or either provide financial assistance to the countries working for the service of people, theirs and those of war-ridden countries.
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