STORY: Some 117 million people were forcibly displaced by the end of 2023, marking the highest number on record, according to the latest statistics from the United Nations refugee agency.

Speaking earlier this week, the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said the number of forcibly displaced people has been increasing every year for the past 12 years.

"The last figure that we have been sharing with you, if you recall, was 114 million. So we estimate that the most updated figure is now 120 million. So it has gone up by another six million. These are refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people, people being forced by conflict, by persecution, by different and increasingly complex forms of violence."

The UN's new report on Global Trends in Displacement estimates the number has only increased in the first four months of 2024 with conflict being a major driver of displacement.

::UNHCR

Grandi singled out the war in Sudan as "one of the most catastrophic ones".

"It is a crisis that, and this is not applying to you who report from here, so hear about that a lot, but generally doesn't really make it to the headline. It's a very forgotten crisis, although it's one of the most catastrophic ones, not just in terms of displacement, but in terms of hunger, lack of access, violation of human rights, and so forth."

Speaking on Gaza, Grandi cautioned that with Israel's offensive forcing around 1.7 million people into internal displacement, that's nearly 80% of the population - many of them, displaced multiple times....

people fleeing Israel's military operations from the southern border town of Rafah into Egypt could lead to catastrophic consequences.

Especially, he says, because there's no guarantee they'll be able to return.