In the News March 19
One Humanity, One Struggle
Human Beings Forcibly Displaced
Prior to the mass exodus of refugees from Ukraine since February 24, a conservative figure of the number of human beings forcibly displaced as a result of U.S.-led post 9-11 wars was 38 million. But agencies report it could be closer to 49-60 million, which would rival World War II displacement.
Based on the more conservative figure of 38 million, the breakdown was as follows, with the year the displacement started in brackets:
Total Displaced in Millions
Syria (2014) — 7.1
Libya (2011) — 1.2
Iraq (2003) — 9.2
Philippines (2002) — 1.8
Somalia (2002) — 4.3
Yemen (2002) — 4.6
Pakistan (2001) — 3.7
Afghanistan (2001) — 5.9
The figures are based on an August 2021 report entitled Costs of War prepared by the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Its calculations include “the UN refugee agency UNHCR’s estimate of 270,000 displaced in Afghanistan from January to July 2021” and calculations of displacement in Syria by solely calculating “displacement experienced in the five Syrian provinces where U.S. military personnel have fought and operated.” The figures do not include those displaced from Venezuela as a result of the U.S. economic war against that country reported to number in the millions.
The report notes that “26.7 million people have returned after being displaced, although return does not erase the trauma of displacement or mean the displaced necessarily have returned to their original homes or a secure life. Children born in displacement who follow parents home are also among those counted as ‘returnees.'”
It concludes: “Any number is limited in what it can convey about displacement’s damage. The people behind the numbers can be difficult to see, and numbers cannot communicate how it feels to lose one’s home, belongings, community, and much more. Displacement has caused incalculable harm to individuals, families, towns, cities, regions, and entire countries physically, socially, emotionally, and economically.”
For the complete report, click here.
(Workers’ Forum, posted March 19, 2022)