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World Faced Record Number of Humanitarian Emergencies in 2023: UNHCR

The year 2023 has been exceptionally difficult for the humanitarian sector, with the world facing a record number of emergencies, according a top official of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

“When you look around the world, there are a number of crises and emergencies. We have been dealing with a record number of emergencies as an agency,” said Matthew Saltmarsh, head of the News and Media Section at UNHCR.

In an interview with Anadolu on the sidelines of the Stratcom Summit in Istanbul, Saltmarsh provided insights into the myriad of challenges faced by refugees around the world, shedding light on the worsening situation as the year draws to a close.

Emphasizing the alarming increase in displacement, he said over 114 million people had been forced to flee their homes worldwide by the end of September.

“If you look back to a decade earlier, 10 years earlier, that’s more than doubled. So, it’s a huge increase and it’s also increased this year,” he said.

“There are multiple crises and, of course, the situation in Gaza has only added to that sense of, in many ways, desperation,” he said, citing the February earthquakes in Türkiye, the “huge displacement” due to conflict in Sudan, the migration crises in the Mediterranean and Central America, and the situation with refugees in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Saltmarsh clarified that his agency does not have a mandate to work directly in Gaza, but added that the events there are of “huge concern.”

“We welcome the humanitarian pause and hope that the situation can stabilize and de-escalate in the weeks and months ahead,” he said.

Source : aa