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Record 75.9 million internally displaced in 2023, UN report reveals

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17 May 2024

The number of people living in internal displacement soared to a record 75.9 million last year, according to a new UN-backed report.

The year also saw nearly 47 million new internal displacements, highlighting the urgent need for protection and prevention efforts, according to the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM), which supplied data for the report.

“As the planet grapples with conflicts and disasters, the staggering numbers of 47 million new internal displacements tells a harrowing tale,” said IOM Deputy Director General Ugochi Daniels.

“This report is a stark reminder of the urgent and coordinated need to expand disaster risk reduction, support peacebuilding, ensure the protection of human rights and whenever possible, prevent the displacement before it happens,” she added.

The report cited conflict and violence as primarily responsible for displacement, uprooting some 20.5 million people in 2023.

Nearly 30 per cent of these occurred in Sudan, while the Gaza Strip accounted for 17 per cent, or 3.4 million within the last three months of the year.

Natural disasters also continued to drive millions from their homes.

In 2023, disasters such as Cyclone Freddy in southeast Africa, earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria and Cyclone Mocha in the Indian Ocean led to 26.4 million displacements, making up 56 per cent of the total new internal displacements.

Notably, there was an increase in disaster-induced displacements in high-income countries, highlighted by Canada’s unprecedented wildfire season, which caused 185,000 internal displacements.

Looking ahead, the number of people displaced by disasters is expected to rise as natural hazards become more frequent, prolonged and intense due to climate change impacts.

Despite these significant challenges, there are also persisting knowledge gaps.

IOM underscored the need for the international community to have better data to understand, prevent, manage and address internal displacement in both conflict and disaster contexts.

Original source: UN News

Image credit: Some rights reserved by atmis.somalia, flickr creative commons.