Record number of people forced to flee homes in war zones this year, in what UNHCR calls a ‘bleak milestone’.

A girl plays on a makeshift swing at Hammam Al-Alil camp south of Mosul where displaced Iraqis prepare to be evacuated [Abdullah Rashid/Reuters]

Despite calls for ceasefires and compassion amid the coronavirus pandemic, violence and persecution have continued to force people from their homes, with record numbers now displaced, says the United Nations.

By the end of 2019, 79.5 million people were living uprooted and displaced, including nearly 30 million refugees – more than one percent of the world’s population.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Wednesday said preliminary figures showed more people had been forced to flee in 2020, pushing the

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