There were 2.3 million more refugees than in 2017, according to the latest UN figures. Compared with ten years ago, there were even 65 percent more refugees, asylum seekers and citizens who fled their own country.
Due to the ongoing debate in the US and Europe about admitting refugees, the UN refugee organization UNHCR points out that it is developing countries that bear the greatest burden of the crisis. Only 16 percent of refugees are taken care of in developed countries, according to the Global Trends report presented on Wednesday.
The extent to which citizens from European countries such as the Netherlands have a different picture was shown on Tuesday in a study commissioned by Stichting Vluchteling. Most Dutch people think that European countries take in the most refugees. A majority even think that Germany, the Netherlands and Italy receive the most refugees.
In reality, according to the UN, the four largest host countries are Turkey, Pakistan, Uganda and Sudan. No less than 80 percent of refugees are taken care of in neighboring countries.
“If you say that Europe or the US or Australia is struggling with a refugee crisis, it is not,” said Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees. “Most refugees are in the country near the war. There is a crisis, we must focus on that. To be honest, the number of people who arrive in Europe are manageable. “
The figures from Grandi’s report are worrying, for yet another successive year. The vast majority of the nearly 71 million people who had to leave their homes and fires – just over 41 million – are people who have taken refuge in their own country and are received there. Furthermore, there were around 26 million refugees worldwide who had fled their country. The rest of the refugee flow consisted of 3.5 million asylum seekers.
The UNHRC must monitor how one refugee problem arises after another and increases in massity, but that there is absolutely no prospect of a solution to the ‘old’ conflicts. For example, the vast majority of refugees, two thirds, come from five countries that have had war and violence for years. Such as Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia. After eight years of war, thirteen million Syrians have now left their homes. 6.7 million of them are now abroad.
The Venezuelans are fast becoming the new ‘Syria’. Last year, four million Venezuelans had exchanged the economic woes in their country for a stay in a neighboring country. Grandi does not claim to have the illusion that this exodus will soon come to an end. The Maduro regime is still firmly in place.
Since President Trump took office, Grandi has been repeatedly asked whether his election has made the work of Unhcr more difficult. “It is becoming more difficult not only in the US, but also in Europe and Australia,” said the High Commissioner. He speaks of a ‘crisis’ when it comes to solidarity with refugees. Grandi: ‘Refugees and migrants are seen as a problem. Instead of as people fleeing from a problem. “