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Forced displacement is a development challenge, not only a humanitarian concern. The number of people forcibly displaced from their homes, regions, and countries increased sharply around 2010. By 2010, nearly 44 million people were forcibly displaced, the highest number in 15 years. Since then, this number has only grown, at the end of 2023, there were 117.3 million people forcibly displaced across the world Also:

Among the over 117 million 31.6 million were registered refugees under UNHCR, 6.9 million asylum seekers, 6 million Palestinian refugees under UNRWA mandate, 5.8 million others in need of international protection and 63.3 million were internally displaced -- While the international spotlight is on refugees who cross international borders, many forcibly displaced people remain displaced within their own country.  By June 2023, internal displacements accounted for 54% of all forcibly displaced people. An estimated total of 13.7 million people were newly displaced in their own countries in 2023, mostly due to conflict and violence in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Somalia, and Syria.

66% of refugees had been displaced for five or more years as of mid-2023 –When people are displaced for a long time, their needs morph from emergency into long-term development needs: jobs, education for displaced children, and the legal frameworks and policies that can make all this possible. These needs are shared by all long-term forcibly displaced people.

Almost 3 in 4 refugees are hosted in developing countries – These countries are already struggling to reach their own development goals, and accommodating the sudden arrival of vulnerable newcomers presents a challenge for host governments and puts pressure on their ability to deliver basic services and infrastructure. Given these added pressures, host communities need support, too.

Forcibly displaced people are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity: millions of them come from countries affected by food crises and in 2023 more than 60 percent were living in territories affected by food crises. On top of this, climate change is increasingly intersecting with forced displacement, and has the potential to amplify the movements of people within countries and across borders.

In December 2022, the World Bank Group and UNHCR launched a Joint Initiative: Creating Markets in Forced Displacement Contexts. This partnership builds on several years of collaboration in multiple countries to support private sector engagement and unlock the economic potential of refugees and host communities. The joint initiative has a global geographic mandate and allows WBG and UNHCR to scale their efforts to help people who are forcibly displaced to live more dignified lives, while contributing to the development of local economies and markets, in alignment with the spirit of the Global Compact on Refugees.

Last Updated: Jun 25, 2024