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Hard Numbers: Spike in forced displacement, Biden signs long-term deal with Kyiv, Thousands face starvation in Sudan, Sharp increase in travel for abortions

Women and babies at the Zamzam displacement camp, close to El Fasher in North Darfur, Sudan, January 2024.

Women and babies at the Zamzam displacement camp, close to El Fasher in North Darfur, Sudan, January 2024.

Mohamed Zakaria/Reuters

120 million: As of May, the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide stood at a record 120 million — roughly equivalent to the population of Japan — according to the UN refugee agency, which blamed “new and mutating conflicts” as well as the failure to resolve “long-standing crises.” The conflict in Sudan, in particular, has contributed to the historic level of displacement, the UN said. By the end of 2023, nearly 11 million Sudanese had been driven from their homes.

10: President Joe Biden signed a 10-year security agreement for a range of military assistance with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday amid Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia. But if former President Donald Trump — who isn’t a fan of aid for Kyiv — wins in November, he could scrap the agreement without much effort because it hasn’t been ratified by Congress.

756,000: The conflict in Sudan has induced a dire humanitarian crisis. It’s now estimated that 756,000 people in the country could face catastrophic food shortages by September, according to a preliminary projection utilized by UN agencies and other aid groups as they evaluate whether it’s officially a famine. But the US special envoy to Sudan warned Tuesday that parts of the country were already experiencing famine and that the question now is “how much famine, how much of the country, and for how long.”

171,000: New estimates show that roughly 171,000 US patients traveled for an abortion in 2023. By comparison, around 73,000 traveled for abortions in 2019. The sharp increase is indicative of the far-reaching impact of the 2022 Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, which saw a number of states institute full abortion bans. This includes Texas, a state that saw 14,000 patients travel across the border into New Mexico for abortions last year.


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