Wednesday, 6 July, 2022

100 million people displaced

Is the global system failing?

The world is facing a grave humanitarian crisis of historic proportion, and yet world leaders seem to have no qualms about it. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of forcibly displaced people from their homes has crossed the 100 million mark, far surpassing the figure of about 60 million people displaced during World War II.

In the last one decade, as the data shows, the number of forcibly displaced people has increased every year due to war, violence, persecution, and human rights abuses. By the end of 2021, the number of global displaced people had stood at 89.3 million. Now it crossed 100 million as a result of Russia's horrific war in Ukraine. That means the war, which is being described as a senseless absurdity in the 21st century, has rendered over 10 million people displaced in just four months.

But it is not only about Ukraine. Millions of people have also fled war in Syria, violence in a number of African countries and a systematic ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Most of the displaced people have been living a sub-human life in refugee camps. Such massive displacements have not only created humanitarian problems, but also caused widespread social, economic and environmental problems.

For example, Bangladesh has been hosting over one million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar for the last five years. Rohingyas have been a huge burden for resource-starved Bangladesh. Besides, the Rohingya camps, many of which were created by clearing forests and cutting hills, have already turned out to be breeding grounds for various crimes such as killing, kidnapping, terrorism, human trafficking and drug smuggling etc. Although much has been said about their repatriation to their home country, so far there is no progress at all. Moreover, the crisis is at risk of being forgotten due to contentious shifting of global attention from one crisis to another.

So what is the solution to the worsening global crisis of forcibly displaced people? Since the world is increasingly becoming tense as geopolitical tensions are rising, more people might be forced to flee from their homes. The UN refugee agency needs about 10 billion dollars a year for the displaced people, and the collection of the fund is a big problem, whereas big and powerful countries are spending trillions of dollars in arms and ammunition to increase their global dominance. So it is a collective failure of the global order. As long as we do not prioritise peace over violence, the refugee crisis will only get worse.