UN Refugee Agency Says Record 117 Mln People Forcibly Displaced in 2023

A displaced Syrian woman Rudaina al-Salim runs errands for her family at a tent encampment in the village of Harbnoush, in Idlib province, Syria, Monday, May 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Albam)
A displaced Syrian woman Rudaina al-Salim runs errands for her family at a tent encampment in the village of Harbnoush, in Idlib province, Syria, Monday, May 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Albam)
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UN Refugee Agency Says Record 117 Mln People Forcibly Displaced in 2023

A displaced Syrian woman Rudaina al-Salim runs errands for her family at a tent encampment in the village of Harbnoush, in Idlib province, Syria, Monday, May 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Albam)
A displaced Syrian woman Rudaina al-Salim runs errands for her family at a tent encampment in the village of Harbnoush, in Idlib province, Syria, Monday, May 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Albam)

The United Nations refugee agency on Thursday said the number of people forcibly displaced stood at a record 117.3 million as of the end of last year, warning that this figure could rise further without major global political changes. "These are refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people, people being forced away by conflict, by persecution, by different and increasingly complex forms of violence," said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
"Conflict remains a very, very deep driver of displacement”, he added according to Reuters.
In its report on global trends in forced displacement, UNHCR said that there had been a yearly increase in the number of people forcibly displaced over the last 12 years.
UNHCR estimates that forced displacement has continued to increase in the first four months of 2024, and that the number of those displaced is likely to have exceeded 120 million by the end of April.
"Unless there is a shift in international geopolitics, unfortunately, I actually see that figure continuing to go up," Grandi said, referring to the risk of new conflicts. The conflicts that have driven displacement include the war in Sudan, which Grandi described as "one of the most catastrophic ones" despite garnering less attention that other crises.
More than 9 million people have been internally displaced and another 2 million have fled to neighboring countries including Chad, Egypt and South Sudan, Grandi said.
"People are arriving in the hundreds every day," he said, referring to the influx of people seeking safety in Chad.
In Gaza, Israel's bombardment and ground campaign have caused around 1.7 million people – nearly 80% of the Palestinian enclave's population – to become internally displaced, many of them multiple times.
Grandi warned that the possible crossings of Gazans into Egypt from the southern border town of Rafah to escape Israel's military offensive would be catastrophic.
"Another refugee crisis outside Gaza would be catastrophic on all levels, including because we have no guarantee that the people will be able to return to Gaza one day," Grandi said.



Bangladesh Extends Curfew ahead of Court Hearing on Controversial Job Quotas

18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
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Bangladesh Extends Curfew ahead of Court Hearing on Controversial Job Quotas

18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Bangladesh extended a curfew on Sunday to control violent student-led protests that have killed at least 114 people, as authorities braced for a Supreme Court hearing later in the day on government job quotas that sparked the anger.
Soldiers have been on patrol on the streets of capital Dhaka, the center of the demonstrations that spiraled into clashes between protesters and security forces, Reuters said.
Internet and text message services in Bangladesh have been suspended since Thursday, cutting the nation off as police cracked down on protesters who defied a ban on public gatherings.
A curfew ordered late on Friday has been extended to 3 p.m. (0900 GMT) on Sunday, until after the Supreme Court hearing, and will continue for an "uncertain time" following a two-hour break for people to gather supplies, local media reported.
Universities and colleges have also been closed since Wednesday.
Nationwide unrest broke out following student anger against quotas for government jobs that included reserving 30% for the families of those who fought for independence from Pakistan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government had scrapped the quota system in 2018, but a court reinstated it last month.
The Supreme Court suspended the decision after a government appeal and will hear the case on Sunday after agreeing to bring forward a hearing scheduled for Aug. 7.
The demonstrations - the biggest since Hasina was re-elected for a fourth successive term this year - have also been fueled by high unemployment among young people, who make up nearly a fifth of the population.
The US State Department on Saturday raised its travel advisory for Bangladesh to level four, urging American citizens to not travel to the South Asian country.