Refugee Exodus: Iran and Turkey Host Millions, Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine Lead Contributors

Global report by Internal Displacement showed that 75.9 million people from 116 countries were internally displaced at the end of 2023. This is a 51% increase in internal displacement from 2022 and is expected to rise in the coming years. The reasons for these displacements include conflicts between countries and natural disasters which made people leave and live at borders. According to the data, 20.5 million people were internally displaced because of ongoing conflicts in 2023 while 26.4 million got internally displaced because of natural disasters.

The countries with the highest internal displacement rates because of conflicts in 2023 were Republic of Congo, Palestine (Gaza), Sudan, Ethiopia and Myanmar. The total number of people displaced was 68.3 million. The countries with the highest rate of internal displacement due to natural disasters in 2023 were Turkey, China, Bangladesh, Somalia and the Philippines. The natural disasters these countries experienced were earthquakes, floods and storms.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 114 million people were forced to be displaced all over the world in 2022. Data from mid-2023 showed that 115 million people who have been forcibly displaced cannot go back to their homes. UNHCR has predicted that the number of forcibly displaced people can reach 130.8 million by the end of 2024. It is important to note that this number of internally displaced people is probably higher than what UNHCR had reported.

YearIDPs of concern to UNHCRRefugees under UNHCR's mandatePalestine refugees UNRWA mandateAsylum-seekersOther people in need of international protectionStateless personsOthers of concern

UNHCR has also reported that about 36.5 million refugees had been living under UNHCR or UNRWA in mid-2023. The countries with the highest number of refugees are the ones which are near to countries experiencing wars or conflicts. Take Iran as an example where 798,343 people were living as refugees in 2021 but these numbers changed to 3,425,091 in 2022. Turkey has about 3.4 million refugees out of which 3.3 million are from Syria.

Country of Asylum (as of 2023 data)Refugees under UNHCR’s mandateAsylum-seekersIDPs of concern to UNHCRStateless personsOthers of concern
Iran (Islamic Rep. of) (IRN)3,443,5227070
Türkiye (TUR)3,368,976260,60504390
Germany (DEU)2,509,506349,034029,5620
Pakistan (PAK)2,080,50148,893059139
Uganda (UGA)1,512,68148,956067,0000
Russian Federation (RUS)1,249,342773093,8020
Poland (POL)989,8773,82001,4251,328
Bangladesh (BGD)961,801160961,7290
Sudan (SDN)926,43333,2723,020,51703,697
Ethiopia (ETH)921,8224,0382,123,4350610

Many people flee from their countries and the countries with the most numbers of people fled are Syria (6.5 million), Ukraine (5.9 million), Afghanistan (6.1 million), and South Sudan (2.2 million). These are only based on the data provided by the UN so the actual number of people fled from these countries are unknown.

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