The coronavirus pandemic put the world on
for much of 2020, except for the most vulnerable people. Last year there were 82.4 million forcibly displaced people in the world due to violence, wars, hunger or the devastating effects of climate change, according to the Global Trends report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , presented this Friday in Geneva (Switzerland). 2020 thus breaks a new record for the ninth consecutive year, according to the detailed 72-page document, with a 4% increase in people who have been forced to leave their homes compared to 2019, the year in which the same organization it estimated displaced people at 79.5 million.
“Behind each number there is a person forced to leave their home and a story of displacement, uprooting and suffering. They deserve our attention and support, not only through humanitarian aid, but also through the search for solutions to their difficult situation, ”said Filippo Grandi, head of UNHCR, through a statement. The document also makes special mention of the number of Venezuelans who, especially since 2018, have left the South American country fleeing the consequences of the Nicolás Maduro regime: 3.9 million people. They are 8% more than the previous year, which in most cases has settled in another South American country, or Spain.
Currently, 1% of humanity is displaced. The bulk of those tens of millions of souls who have been forced to leave behind their cities, their fields, their houses, their families, are occupied by internally displaced persons: 48 million. Refugees follow: 26.4 million people who have had to cross borders and request protection in other countries.
The extensive report indicates that Turkey continues to be the country with the greatest migratory pressure in terms of hosting refugees: 3.7 million people. It is followed by Colombia (1.7 million including displaced Venezuelans), Pakistan (1.4 million), Uganda (1.4 million) and Germany (1.2 million). And, according to the organization, which depends on the UN: "The vast majority of the world's refugees, almost nine out of 10 (86%), are hosted in countries neighboring crisis areas and in countries with medium resources or low ”.
Germany is the only European country in the
of the ten countries that host the most people.
However, the number of refugees in Europe increased by 3%, among other reasons, due to the displaced people who fled in 2020 from the fierce conflict in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh (or Upper Karabakh), which has faced Armenia and Azerbaijan for some decades.
After ten years of war in Syria, its citizens continue to beat the regrettable
of refugees: 6.7 million in 2020. They are followed by those citizens who have fled Venezuela (four million);
from Afghanistan (2.6 million);
from South Sudan (2.2 million);
and from Myanmar, formerly Burma (1.1 million), possibly the majority of the Rohingya minority, taking refuge in neighboring Bangladesh.
The bulk of the entire group of displaced persons is between 18 and 58 years old and is almost evenly distributed between men (29%) and women (25%). It is striking, however, that up to a million children were already born as refugees in another country. Unhcr estimates that between 2018 and 2020, an average of 290,000 to 340,000 babies were born each year. The organization is pessimistic and assures that many of these children "may remain refugees for years." This is a particularly sensitive point and one on which Grandi emphasizes when demanding that countries reverse the situation: “The tragedy of so many children born in exile should be reason enough to maximize efforts to prevent and end the conflicts and violence ”. Despite the fact that children represent 30% of the world's population, when it comes to the displaced population,they represent 42%.
Refugees and migrants from Venezuela: forgotten amid the pandemic
The UN describes the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar as "attempted genocide"
Fewer asylum grants
Paradoxically, as the number of people fleeing their homes in search of international protection increases, asylum grants are decreasing.
Asylum applications pending response globally remained almost at the same levels of 2019 (4.1 million), but the States and UNHCR together registered around 1.3 million individual asylum applications, one million less than in 2019 (43% less).
The regions in which the most asylum applications are registered are America, understood as the United States -which every year, since 2015, has been
; and Europe, the continent that has led these requests since at least 2010, according to data from UNHCR. The United States fully leads individual applications for international protection with 250,800 in 2020 alone. It was followed, far behind, by Germany (102,000), Spain (88,800); and France (87,700). Venezuelans, Afghans and Syrians registered the most asylum applications in 2020.