WARSAW — The world has become more compassionate towards refugees, according to a survey by pollster Ipsos published on Friday, a finding it said suggested the war in Ukraine had increased public openness to people fleeing war or oppression.
Some 78% of people in 28 countries believe those escaping conflict or persecution should be able to take refuge in another country, up from 70% in a 2021 survey.
Fewer people also believe borders should be entirely closed to refugees, with 36% agreeing in Friday’s poll, against 50% a year earlier, in part reflecting decreasing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ipsos survey of attitudes towards refugees polled 20,505 people from 28 countries, including Australia, Argentina, China, France, Great Britain, Poland, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.
“Attitudes have become more favorable since last year in most of the countries surveyed, suggesting that the Ukraine crisis has increased public openness to refugees and reversed some of the concerns generated by the pandemic,” IPSOS said.
The Ukraine conflict has forced over 6.5 million people to flee to neighboring countries.
A report by the UN body showed on Thursday that some 89.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, abuse and violence at the end of 2021.
Since then, millions more have fled Ukraine or been displaced within its borders, with price hikes linked to blocked grain exports set to stoke more displacement elsewhere.