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.
And the UN refugee agency said preliminary figures showed more people had been forced to flee in 2020, pushing the number past 80 million.
"We are now surpassing another bleak milestone that will continue to grow unless world leaders stop wars," UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said in a statement.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called in March for a global ceasefire while the world fights the pandemic, which has now killed more than 1.5 million people.
But while some factions heeded the call, UNHCR said preliminary figures through the first half of 2020 showed that violence in Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Somalia and Yemen drove fresh displacement. Africa's central Sahel region also saw significant new displacement due to brutal violence, including rape and executions, UNHCR said.
"With forced displacement doubling in the last decade, the international community is failing to safeguard peace," Grandi lamented.