71 million people were internally displaced around the world in 2022 a new record high
by Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
7:57am 10th May, 2023
The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) around the world reached 71 million as of the end of 2022, an increase of 20 per cent from the previous year, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre’s flagship annual report.
The number of movements in which people fled in search of safety and shelter, sometimes more than once, was also unprecedented in 2022. The conflict in Ukraine triggered nearly 17 million displacements as people fled repeatedly from rapidly shifting frontlines, and monsoon floods in Pakistan triggered 8.2 million, accounting for a quarter of the year’s global disaster displacement.
“Today’s displacement crises are growing in scale, complexity and scope, and factors like food insecurity, climate change and escalating and protracted conflicts are adding new layers to this phenomenon,” said IDMC’s director, Alexandra Bilak. “Greater resources and further research are essential to help understand and better respond to IDPs’ needs”.
Internal displacement is a global phenomenon, but nearly three-quarters of the world’s IDPs live in just 10 countries - Syria, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ukraine, Colombia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan - many as a result of unresolved conflicts that continued to trigger significant displacement in 2022.
Conflict and violence triggered 28.3 million internal displacements worldwide, a figure three times higher than the annual average over the past decade. Beyond Ukraine, nine million or 32 per cent of the global total were recorded in sub-Saharan Africa. DRC accounted for around four million and Ethiopia just over two million.
The number of disaster displacements rose by nearly 40 per cent compared to the previous year, reaching 32.6 million, largely the result of the effects of La Nina which continued for a third consecutive year. South Asia recorded the highest regional figure, surpassing East Asia and the Pacific for the first time in a decade.
In the Horn of Africa, the worst drought in 40 years triggered 2.1 million movements, including 1.1 million in Somalia alone, while fuelling acute food insecurity across the region.
The secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, described the overlapping crises around the world as a “perfect storm”.
“Conflict and disasters combined last year to aggravate people’s pre-existing vulnerabilities and inequalities, triggering displacement on a scale never seen before,” he said. “The war in Ukraine also fuelled a global food se- curity crisis that hit the internally displaced hardest. This perfect storm has undermined years of progress made in reducing global hunger and malnutrition.”
Three-quarters of the countries that face crisis levels of food insecurity are also home to IDPs. Shining light on this connection is key to understanding how IDPs are affected by disruptions to food systems, but also how future investments in food security will be essential to reaching solutions.
“There is an increasing need for durable solutions to meet the scale of the challenges facing displaced people,” Bilak said. “This spans the expansion of cash assistance and livelihood programmes that improve IDPs’ economic security, through to investments in risk reduction measures that strengthen their communities’ resilience.”
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