As the world commemorates the World Refugee Day this June 20, the African Union (AU) has reminded that the refugee problem continues to be a persistent challenge on the African continent due to complex factors, perhaps most notably conflicts and political instability affecting parts of Africa.
Countries in the Middle East and North Africa region are regularly among those hosting the most refugees in the world but they are at the same time among the most prolific source nations for people fleeing for elsewhere. On the World Refugee Day, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says the first quarter of 2023 has been the deadliest on record for refugees. In 2022, the number of people who were forcibly displaced by war, persecution, human rights abuses and climate change reached an all-time high of 110 million, according to the UN refugee agency. Experts say that fighting in one country often affects several others, noting how hundreds of thousands of Sudanese have fled into neighboring Chad, Ethiopia, Egypt and South Sudan.
Also, the AU is commemorating the World Refugee Day with a theme ‘Hope Away from Home. A World Where Refugees Are Always Included.’ It says the refugee crisis in Africa is due to complex factors, including conflicts and political instability affecting parts of Africa, which continue to force multitudes of African people into forced displacement in different countries.
These challenges are compounded by a sharp increase in food insecurity notably in the Horn of Africa, Central Africa, Central and Western Sahel. The UNHCR’s Global Trends report says countries in sub-Saharan Africa host one in five of all refugees globally. The largest number – 4.7 million – are in East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region.