UNHCR Mid-Year Trends 2020

Publication language
Date published
09 Dec 2020
Research, reports and studies
Conflict, violence & peace, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Food security, Forced displacement and migration, Internal Displacement, Refugee Camps, Health, Livelihoods, Protection, human rights & security, Social protection, Shelter, Syria crisis

As the year 2020 got underway, an estimated 79.5 million people remained forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order,3 and few could have anticipated how dramatically the novel coronavirus would affect their lives in the months ahead. Yet COVID-19’s socioeconomic impact has weighed heavily on the world’s most vulnerable, including forcibly displaced and stateless people, leaving them in critical need of solidarity and support.

While COVID-19 has temporarily led to a reduction in the number of new asylum-seekers due to movement restrictions and border closures, including when no exceptions are made for admission to territory, the underlying factors leading to conflict in situations globally remain unaddressed. Trends which UNHCR reported previously have continued: political crises and conflict have created new humanitarian emergencies further raising the number of those forcibly displaced.

Significant new displacement has been registered during the first half of this year in the conflict across the Sahel region in Africa, Syrian Arab Republic (Syria), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Somalia and Yemen, among other locations, due to continued, new or increasing violence. While a full picture is yet to be established, UNHCR estimates that global forced displacement has surpassed 80 million at mid- 2020.8 International protection and access to asylum, therefore, continue to be life-saving for many.

This report focuses on displacement trends in the first half of 2020. The figures presented here were collected from governments and UNHCR offices around the world and supplemented, where required, with data from non-governmental organizations. Unless otherwise specified, figures relate solely to events occurring up to 30 June 2020. The statistics included in this report should be considered provisional and subject to change.