UNHCR Report: Forced Displacement Rose to 120 Million by the End of April 2024

Forcibly displaced population doubles to 120 million over the past 10 yearsThe report titled “Global Trends Forced Displacement in 2023” published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR), states that the forced displacement has increased to 120 million by the end of April 2024.  It is the 12th consecutive annual increase.

Points to note: 

i.An estimated 117.3 million people remained forcibly displaced at the end of 2023. 1 in 69 people across the globe remains forcibly displaced due to conflict, violence, persecution and human rights violations.

  • Of the 117.3 million forcibly displaced, 68.3 million are internally displaced within their own countries due to conflict or other crises.

ii.The report discovered that the number of refugees who crossed international borders in 2023 has increased by 7% to 43.4 million.

  • The increase is driven by displacement in Sudan and ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and other regions.

iii.The report highlighted that the total number of asylum-seekers (people seeking protection in another country due to persecution or fear of harm in their home country) waiting for a decision by the end of the year rose by 26% to 6.9 million.

iv.According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre(IDMC), international displacement has risen to 68.3 million people, increased by around 50% in five years.

v.Based on UNHCR and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) mandates, the number of refugees and those needing international protection increased to 43.4 million.


International law defines refugees as people who are forced to flee their home countries to escape persecution or a serious threat to their life, physical integrity or freedom.

Contributing factors: 

i.Around 10.8 million were displaced by the end of 2023 due to the war between rival militaries in Sudan.

ii.The UNRWA estimated that around 75% of the population in the Gaza Strip(1.7 million) have been displaced.

iii.Syria holds the record as the world’s largest displacement crisis, with 13.8 million forcibly displaced in and outside the country.

Country of Origin: 

Around 72% (three-quarters) of all refugees are from the following 5 countries: Afghanistan (6.4 million), Syria (6.4 million), Venezuela (6.1 million), Ukraine (6 million) and Palestine (6 million).

Host of Refugees: 

i.Around 70% of refugees and those in need of international protection lives in their neighbouring countries.

ii.Iran (3.8 million) hosts the largest refugee population followed by Türkiye (3.3 million), Colombia (2.9 million), Germany (2.6 million) and Pakistan (2 million).

iii.Germany is the only major host country that does not border the main refugee source countries.

Refugees returning home:

i.More than 5 million internally displaced people and 1 million refugees worldwide returned to their home country in 2023.

ii.In 2023, the resettlement arrivals increased to 154,300.

About United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR): 
UNHCR was established in 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in the aftermath of the Second World War.
High Commissioner– Filippo Grandi (Italy)
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland

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