Meanwhile, 60.9 million new internal displacements were reported in 2022, including in Sudan – Copyright AFP Saeed KHAN
James Rybacki and Nina Larson
A “perfect storm” of overlapping crises forced tens of millions to flee within their own country last year, pushing the number of internally displaced people to a record high, monitors said on Thursday.
A record 71.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) were registered in 2022, up 20 percent from the previous year, amid Russia’s war-induced mass displacement in Ukraine, as well as as by the monsoon floods that drenched Pakistan.
Meanwhile, 60.9 million new internal displacements were reported in 2022, with some people forced to flee multiple times during the year, according to a joint report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council. (NRC).
That marks an all-time record for new internal displacement and an increase of 60 percent compared to the approximately 38 million new displacements seen in 2021.
That number is “extremely high,” IDMC chief Alexandra Bilak told AFP.
“Much of the increase is, of course, due to the war in the Ukraine, but also to the floods in Pakistan, new and ongoing conflicts around the world, and a series of sudden and slow disasters that we have seen since the America to the Pacific.
– ‘Very volatile’ –
Last year, new internal displacements due to conflict increased to 28.3 million, almost double the previous year and three times the annual average over the past decade.
Beyond the 17 million displaced within Ukraine last year, eight million were forced from their homes by monstrous flooding in Pakistan.
Sub-Saharan Africa saw around 16.5 million displacements, more than half of them due to conflict, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia.
Global numbers of internal displacement are expected to rise this year, driven in part by new conflicts such as the violence raging in Sudan, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee.
More than 700,000 people have already become internally displaced by fighting that broke out on April 15, while another 150,000 people have fled the country, according to UN figures.
“Since the start of the…most recent conflict in April, we have already recorded the same number of displacements as we have for the whole of 2022,” Bilak said.
“Clearly, it is a very volatile situation on the ground,” he said, noting that the newly displaced by the fighting were adding to the ranks of more than three million people who have already been displaced across Sudan.
– ‘Food Safety Crisis’ –
While internal displacement is a global phenomenon, nearly three-quarters of the world’s IDPs live in just 10 countries: Syria, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, Colombia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, and Sudan. .
Many of them remain displaced due to unresolved conflicts that have raged for years and continued to force people to flee their homes last year.
And even as conflict-related displacement increased, natural disasters continued to account for the majority of new internal displacement, triggering 32.6 million such movements in 2022, 40 percent more than the previous year.
NRC chief Jan Egeland described the overlapping crises driving increasing displacement around the world as a “perfect storm”.
“Conflict and disasters have combined in the past year to exacerbate people’s pre-existing vulnerabilities and inequalities, causing displacement on a scale never seen before,” it said in a statement.
“The war in Ukraine also fueled a global food security crisis that hit internally displaced people the hardest,” he said.
“This perfect storm has undermined years of progress made in reducing global hunger and malnutrition.”