Global refugee population hits 100m amid regional conflicts sown by West
Published: Jun 20, 2022 08:35 PM
A Palestinian refugee girl looks out from her house window at Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus, March 16, 2022.Photo:Xinhua

A Palestinian refugee girl looks out from her house window at Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus, March 16, 2022.Photo:Xinhua

On the 22nd World Refugee Day on Monday, a report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) showed that the number of refugees has surpassed 100 million, bringing renewed attention to the refugee crisis in international public opinion. Experts said as long as the US and its allies keep exporting turmoil and creating crises for their selfish ends, the refugee problem will not be solved.

According to UNHCR, 100 million displaced was reached in May, 10 weeks after the Russian-Ukrainian conflict prompted a global cereal and fertilizer shortage. Since February, the crisis has internally displaced over 8 million people in Ukraine, with more than 6.5 million of them having crossed international borders into neighboring countries including Poland and Moldova.

One hundred million is a stark figure. This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. 

"The US-led NATO expanded eastward without any regard for Russia's security concerns, eventually triggering the conflict and causing the displacement of millions of Ukrainian refugees, which has not only prompted a new refugee crisis in the EU, but also added to the global refugee problem," Zhou Zhanggui, a research fellow in nontraditional security and peaceful development studies from Zhejiang University, told the Global Times .

Citing World Bank data, UNHCR said that a total of 850 million people in 23 countries faced "medium or high-intensity conflicts." According to the latest statistics, Syria remains the world's largest source of the global refugee population, followed by Venezuela, with Afghanistan in third.

From waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the cultivation of anti-government forces in west Asia and North Africa to promote the "Arab Spring," to its direct involvement in the war in Syria, and long-term intervention in Venezuela's internal affairs, Western countries' continued provocation of regional conflicts is the root cause of the refugee crisis, Zhou noted.

However, when it comes to accepting refugees, these grandiose Western countries only pay lip service to the issue.

The British government, for example, stands accused of trading people like commodities to send asylum seekers on a one-way ticket away to Rwanda on June 14, a plan that has since been stalled when the European Court intervened, Al Jazeera reported.

And after the start of the Ukrainian crisis, the US promised to accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees while sending weapons to Ukraine to create more bloodshed. But as of early April, nearly 3,000 Ukrainians were waiting at the US-Mexico border to enter the US. The asylum process is frequently backlogged and can take years, and asylum seekers are entitled to virtually no benefits, according to US News and World Report.

"China, on the other hand, has been pragmatic in its humanitarian assistance work," Zhou said, noting that China has been promoting regional peace and social stability under multilateral mechanisms, from the stance of trying to solve the conflict at its source. 

"However, as long as Western countries are still actively creating chaos globally, the refugee problem cannot fundamentally be solved," Zhou said.