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UNHCR: Food Crisis Will Raise Displacement Levels

FILE: Somali young girl cooks food outside their makeshift home inside a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. A new U.N. report says five million people are not getting enough food, on the chaotic Horn of Africa.

A report by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) shows that almost 89.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, abuse and violence at the end of 2021. Millions more have fled Ukraine or been displaced within its borders.

A food security crisis fueled by the Ukraine war will push more people to flee their homes in poorer countries, the U.N. says. It also asserts the crisis will drive record levels of global displacement even higher.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, says that the impact of food crisis will be devastating if not quickly resolved.

"If you have a food crisis on top of everything I have described – war, human rights, climate – it will just accelerate the trends I've described in this report,"

Filippo adds that more people are fleeing their homes as a result of price hikes and violent insurgencies in Africa's Sahel region.

The number of displaced has increased every year over the past decade, according to the UNHCR report. It is now more than double the 42.7 million people displaced in 2012.

Grandi also criticizes a "monopoly" of resources given to Ukraine -as he described it- whereas other programs to help the displaced were underfunded.

"Ukraine should not make us forget other crises.”

He mentions that a two-year-old conflict in Ethiopia and a drought in the Horn of Africa also added to the global food crisis and the refugees’ crisis.

Grandi adds that the European Union's response to refugee crises has been "unequal".

He also compares the bickering between states over taking in small groups of migrants crossing the Mediterranean by boat with EU countries' generosity with Ukrainian refugees since Russia's invasion in February.

"Certainly it proves an important point: responding to refugee influxes, to the arrival of desperate people on the shores or borders of rich countries is not unmanageable,"

The UN report adds that low-and-middle income countries hosted 83% of the world's refugees at the end of 2021.