According to the latest report from UNHCR, the number of forcibly displaced people has exceeded 110 million, an unprecedented figure in history.
A top UN official warned the current number of displaced people will exceed 110 million due to current world events, during an event in the Qatari capital on Sunday.
Speaking at the ‘Setting the Stage for the Global Refugee Forum: From Challenges to Opportunities’ panel in Doha, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Kelly Clements pointed to the absence of protection, aid, and solutions due to governments around the world lacking collective responsibility.
“We have a situation where, well, the numbers that I would give you would be 100 and 10 million people forcibly displaced. I would say it’s going to be much higher the next time you hear officially from us,” Clement told the audienced at the co-organised discussion hosted by the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute.
Clement referenced the unrest in Sudan as an example of a boom of unprecedented numbers of refugees.
“For example, in Sudan, and with renewed conflict there affecting some 6 million people already in six months of whom, about 55.25 0.3 million are what we would call internally displaced people,” Clement said.
“About 800,000 refugees, new Sudanese refugees, and for those of you that know, well, the context in Sudan, this is a country that has been on the precipice of deep fragility and, and conflict and crisis at various points over the last decades,” the UN official added.
Addressing solutions being implemented by the UNHCR in the case of Sudan, Clement stated that one of the goals is a political settlement for those seeking refugee.
“We have 20,000 UNHCR team members or personnel, and we have 1,100 partners around the world, most of which are local and national nongovernmental organisations or those that are helping us deliver responsibility for three particular elements of our work,” Clement stated.
“It’s about solutions. The traditional solutions that we talk about are voluntary and safe return. This is obviously something we would hope to see following a peace agreement, a political settlement for communities coming together to make it possible for people to go home voluntarily. And as we say in safety and dignity,” Clement added.
No mandate on Palestine
Addressing Israel’s attacks in Gaza, Clements stressed that the UNHCR has no mandate in the province but called for a ceasefire.
“But we are an organisation that is operating in 100 and 35 countries in 550 different operational context around the world,” Clements said.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is the UN agency that takes up relief and human development of Palestinian refugees.
On Sunday, UNRWA confirmed 29 of its staff had been killed in Gaza since Israel declared its war on October 7.
“We are in shock and mourning. It is now confirmed that 29 of our colleagues in Gaza have been killed since October 7,” UNRWA announced on its social media platforms.
Clements said she spoke to UNRWA officials in Gaza, which they described was “the worst situation” the organisation has been in.
According to Palestinian health officials, Gaza witnessed one of its bloodiest nights on Sunday with at least 55 killed overnight alone. The unprecedented Israeli war has killed more than 4,651 lives, a third of which were children, making it the most deadly offensive in Gaza in decades.