IOM Says Global Displacement Rising Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched its flagship World Migration Report 2022 which reveals a dramatic increase in internal displacement due to disasters, conflict, and violence.

According to IOM, the inflow of migrants is taking place at a time when global mobility ground to a halt due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“We are witnessing a paradox not seen before in human history. While billions of people have been effectively grounded by COVID-19, tens of millions of others have been displaced within their own countries,” said IOM’s Director General António Vitorino.

According to the IOM in its eleventh World Migration Report series, the number of air passengers globally dropped 60 percent in 2020 to 1.8 billion (down from 4.5 billion in 2019) while at the same time internal displacement due to disaster, conflict, and violence rose to 40.5 million (up from 31.5 million in 2019).

“This report is unlike any other edition of the World Migration Report,” said the IOM report editor, Marie McAuliffe.

The report also said the number of international migrants has grown from 84 million globally in 1970 to 281 million in 2020, although when global population growth is factored in, the proportion of international migrants has only inched up from 2.3 percent to 3.6 percent of the world’s population. 

Most people globally (96.4 percent) reside in the country in which they were born, the report said, adding, the number of international migrants for 2020 was lower, by around 2 million, than it otherwise would have been due to COVID-19.

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