Over the past decade, the global population of forcibly displaced people grew substantially from 43.3 million in 2009 to 70.8 million in 2018, reaching a record high. Most of this increase was between 2012 and 2015, driven mainly by the Syrian conflict. But conflicts in other areas also contributed to this rise, including in the Middle East such as in Iraq and Yemen, parts of sub-Saharan Africa such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan, as well as the massive flow of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh at the end of 2017.
Of particular note in 2018 was the increase in the number of displaced people due to internal displacement in Ethiopia and new asylum claims from people fleeing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The proportion of the world’s population who were displaced also continued to rise as the increase in the world’s forcibly displaced population outstripped global population growth. In 2017 this figure was 1 out of every 110 people but in 2018 it stood at 1 out of every 108 people.7 A decade ago, by comparison, this stood at about 1 in 160 people. Overall, the refugee population under UNHCR’s mandate has nearly doubled since 2012.