Conflict and violence sparked 50.8 million internal displacement across the world at the end of 2019, out of which 45.7 million were due to conflict and violence, and 5.1 million because of disasters, revealed a global report on internal displacement.
The report titled ‘Global Report on Internal Displacement 2020’ published by Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) further said that at least 33.4 million new displacements took place across 140 countries and territories in 2019 alone. Out of the 33.4 million new displacements, 8.5 million were related to conflict and violence, while 24.9 million due to disasters. “This is the highest figure recorded since 2012 and three times the number of displacements caused by conflict and violence,” the report stated.
Nearly 1,900 disasters sparked 24.9 million new displacements across 140 countries and territories in 2019, it said. Out of the 24.9 million displaced due to disasters, 23.9 were weather-related, and “much of this displacement took place in form of pre-emptive evacuations”.
“Cyclones Fani and Bulbul triggered more than five million in India and Bangladesh alone. Evacuations clearly save lives, but many evacuees had their displacement prolonged because their homes had been damaged or destroyed,” the report added.
New incidents of conflict displacement, on the other hand, were recorded in 50 countries in 2019, according to the report. “Long-running conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya also led to an increase in displacement in the Middle East and North Africa, both in terms of new displacements and people still living in displacement at the end of the year,” it said.
The report noted that majority of the displacement due to conflicts occurred in low and middle-income countries including Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Ethiopia. “This accounted for more than a million new displacements each. Sub-Saharan Africa was the region with the highest figure. Many new displacements were triggered by escalating violence and an overall deterioration of security in the Sahel, particularly in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.”
The global number of internal displacements has never been higher, states the report. “All regions are affected by conflict displacement, but it is highly concentrated in a few countries. Of the global total of 45.7 million people still displaced at the end of the year, three-quarters or 34.5 million, were in just 10 countries,” the report added.
Even as the report highlighted such revealing numbers, it also underlined that visible efforts to prevent and respond to internal displacement in 2019 were taken, and “promising developments in a number of countries highlighted the key ingredients for success”. “New national initiatives showed greater levels of political commitment. Countries such as Niger and Somalia improved their policy frameworks on internal displacement. Others, including Afghanistan, Iraq and the Philippines, incorporated displacement in their development plans, in their reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals, or when updating risk management strategies in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction,” the report went on to add