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Conflict, disasters driving record rise in internally displaced people – report

21 May 20220 comments

Almost 60 million people were internally displaced last year with conflict, natural disasters and ethnic and religious persecution are on the rise across the globe, a new report reveals.

The ‘Global Report on Internal Replacement’ says a record 59.1 million people were internally displaced in 2021, a four million person increase on the previous year.

The displacements include 53.2 million as a result of conflict and violence and 5.9 million as a result of disasters, the report says.

Those displaced by conflict and violence came were recorded in 59 countries and territories.

The report by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s ‘International Displacement Monitoring Centre’ says that over the last 15 years, disasters have triggered most internal displacement, with annual numbers significantly higher than those related to conflict and violence.

Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for more than 80 per cent of all internal displacements triggered by conflict and violence worldwide in 2021, the report says.

The regional total was 4.7 million higher than the figure for the previous year, driven mostly by conflict in Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burkina Faso, Somalia and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Most of the new and repeated displacements triggered by disasters in 2021 were recorded in the Asia and Pacific regions, which together accounted for about 80 per cent of the total.

Tropical cyclones, monsoon rains and floods hit highly exposed areas that are home to millions of people. The most affected countries were China, the Philippines and India, the report said.

In 2021 there were 23.7 million internal displacements, most in the Asia-Pacific, and most resulting from weather-related events including floods, storms and cyclones.

“With the expected impacts of climate change and without ambitious climate change action, the numbers will likely increase in the coming years,” the report says. 

“Most of these internal displacements took place in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the violence and conflict in Afghanistan and Myanmar also displacing unprecedented numbers of people,” it says. 

This year’s report includes a special focus on children and youth in internal displacement, who account for more than 40 per cent of the total number of internally displaced persons in 2021.

There were 33 million internally displaced people under the age of 25 as a result of conflict, violence and disasters in 104 countries and territories.

The report explores the impacts of internal displacement on their well-being and their future and fills data and knowledge gaps that are key to finding durable solutions that address risks and impacts of displacement on children and youth today and in the future, and ultimately contribute to build more resilient and sustainable societies. 

“Gaps in how we understand and address internal displacement in conflict and disaster contexts remain,” the report says.

The top five countries with internally displaced people are China, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Indian and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read the full report: IDMC | GRID 2022 | 2022 Global Report on Internal Displacement (