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UN: Russian invasion uprooted 14 million Ukrainians

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UNITED NATIONS – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has driven some 14 million Ukrainians from their homes in “the fastest and largest displacement in decades”, sparking an increase in the number of refugees and of displaced people worldwide to more than 103 million, said the UN refugee chief. said Wednesday.

Filippo Grandi, who heads the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told the UN Security Council that Ukrainians are about to face “one of the harshest winters in the world in extremely difficult circumstances”, including the continued destruction of civilian infrastructure which “makes the rapid humanitarian response look like a drop in the ocean of need.

Humanitarian organizations have “significantly stepped up their response”, he said, “but there is still much to do, starting with an end to this senseless war”.

But given “the likely protracted nature of the military situation,” Grandi said his agency was preparing for further population movements in and out of Ukraine.

In his far-reaching briefing, Grandi told members of the UN’s most powerful body that while Ukraine continues to make headlines, his agency has responded to 37 emergencies around the world over the past 12 recent months resulting from conflicts.

“Yet other crises fail to capture the same international attention, outrage, resources, action,” he said.

Grandi highlighted the more than 850,000 Ethiopians displaced in the first half of the year and said the recent outbreak of conflict in the northern Tigray region has had “an even more devastating impact on civilians”.

The UN refugee agency also has a presence in Myanmar, where the country’s military rulers are facing armed resistance and around 500,000 people have been displaced in the first half of the year, Grandi said.

Humanitarian access remains “a huge challenge”, he said, adding that a return home remains a long way off for the nearly one million Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh.

In Congo, brutal attacks, including sexual violence against women, have added more than 200,000 people to the 5.5 million already displaced in the country, Grandi said.

He lamented that “the horrors” he witnessed while working in the Congo 25 years ago are being repeated, “with displacement being, once again, both a consequence of the conflict and a complicating factor in the network of local and international tensions”.

Addressing a council tasked with ensuring international peace and security, Grandi said: “We can certainly do better to try to bring peace to this beleaguered region.”

The refugee chief said these and other crises, including the longstanding problem of refugees from Afghanistan and Syria and the complex flow of migrants from the Americas, “not only fade from media attention , but fail because of global inaction”.

The reasons for displacement are also becoming more complex, with new factors forcing people to flee, including the climate emergency, Grandi said.

He called for greater attention and much more funding to prevent and adapt to global warming, warning that otherwise tensions and competition will increase “and trigger wider conflict with deadly consequences, including move.

“And what is a more striking example of ‘loss and damage’ than being displaced and dispossessed of one’s home?” He asked.

Last week, Grandi said he met emaciated Somalis who had walked for days for help and whose children had died on the way, and Somali refugees ‘pushed into already drought-stricken parts of Kenya’. .

He praised the Kenyan government, despite its own challenges, for “bringing about a historic shift from refugee encampment to inclusion – a transition which I hope all will vigorously support.”

Grandi expressed hope that this month’s UN climate change summit in Egypt and the summit in the United Arab Emirates next year will take into account both the link between climate and conflict and the displacements it causes.

But Grandi said that wasn’t enough. He said the UN refugee agency needed $700 million by the end of the year to avoid severe cuts to its services.

He further called for a strengthening of peacebuilding to prevent the recurrence of conflicts, including by strengthening the police, the judiciary and local administrations in fragile countries. He said security must also be improved for aid workers who are increasingly at risk and that the Security Council must overcome its divisions on humanitarian issues.

“Because what I saw in Somalia last week was a condemnation of all of us,” Grandi said.

He pointed to “a world of inequality where extraordinary levels of suffering receive shockingly low levels of attention and resources”, adding that those who contribute least to global challenges such as climate change “suffer the most from their consequences. “.

washingtonpost Gt

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