According to UN refugee aid, more than 80 million people are currently on the run around the world. The German partner of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced that there were more than ever before. The corona pandemic has exacerbated the situation. Since 2019, the number of refugees has increased by ten million people.
“Corona changed the reality of people’s lives worldwide in 2020, for many of the 80 million people on the run the pure struggle for survival now comes first,” said the managing director of UN refugee aid, Peter Ruhenstroth-Bauer. “We mustn’t leave these people alone.”
In addition to acute emergency aid, the refugees need prospects for a better future. Of the 7.4 billion euros needed for refugee aid in 2020, the UNHCR had only received a good half by the beginning of December.
New conflicts in Ethiopia and the Sahel zone
In 2020, long-term conflicts such as those in Yemen or Syria were added to new sources of fire, for example in Ethiopia and the African Sahel zone with countries like Chad, Mali and Niger. Compared to the previous year, the number of refugees rose by ten million.
The situation of thousands of refugees is not only precarious outside of Europe. Last week, the Lipa refugee camp in Bosnia-Herzegovina burned down a few hours after it was closed. Hundreds of people have been homeless since then, especially young single people have been struggling to survive there for days in freezing temperatures.
And the conditions in the refugee camps on the Greek islands are still catastrophic. After a three-year-old was allegedly raped in the Kara Tepe camp on Lesbos, aid organizations fought a tetanus wave shortly before Christmas.