The United Nations and the World Bank have warned of a “collapse of social cohesion” in Africa and are urging governments to consider more generous social welfare programmes to address migration concerns.
The two bodies released new research showing that, as of December 2016, migration had reached a record high of 2.8 billion people, or 17 per cent of the world’s population.
The UN says migration is “a primary driver of regional conflicts and insecurity”.
The World Bank says it is concerned about “the erosion of social trust and the consequent loss of stability and cohesion”.
It warned that if the trend continues, migration could become “the primary source of migration-related instability”.
The UN has warned that “a collapse of social unity” in the region could lead to “the loss of social peace, social cohesion and the formation of violent groups”.
“As migration is increasingly linked to conflict and violence, it has become a major driver of instability in the Middle and East, with the consequences for regional security and development,” the report said.
“Migration has a strong and growing impact on social stability in the world.”
The research showed that migration to the Middle-East and Africa had grown by 20 per cent between 2010 and 2016, but only in the last five years has the number of people migrating to these countries dropped to its lowest level in decades.
At the same time, the number migrating to the US and Canada has dropped by 13 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.
Many of the migrants to these two countries have come from the Caribbean, South America and Eastern Europe.
As a result, the Middle Eastern region has been the “world’s most highly-affected region”, according to the report.
This week, the UN urged the US to boost social welfare spending in response to the increase in migration.
In response to this, the US State Department said that the country was investing more in social services and expanding the use of international family reunification.
But it is also considering the possibility of cutting foreign aid.