By Fauxile Kibet
A new report has revealed shocking statistics over rising numbers of internally displaced persons around the world, placing the current number at a record 41.3 million.
According to a Global Report on Displacement launched Thursday at the United Nations in Geneva, the number of people living in internal displacement worldwide as of the end of 2018 is the highest it has ever been.
The report shows that there is an increase of more than a million since the end of 2017 and two-thirds more than the global number of refugees.
The IDMC attributes the record figure to years of cyclical and protracted displacement, and high levels of new displacement between January and December 2018. The UN recorded 28 million new internal displacements associated with conflict, generalized violence and disasters in 2018.
The IDMC also observes that ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Syria, and a rise in intercommunal tensions in Ethiopia, Cameroon and Nigeria’s Middle Belt region triggered most of the 10.8 million new displacements linked to conflict and violence.
In Somalia 2.6 million are sheltered in IDP camps in the country following climate and conflict. The 2016/17 drought uprooted 1 million people from their homes.
Internally displaced people (IDPs) who tried to return to their homes in Iraq, Nigeria and Syria during the year found their property destroyed, infrastructure damaged and basic services non-existent.
“This year’s report is a sad reminder of the recurrence of displacement, and of the severity and urgency of IDPs’ needs. Many of the same factors that drove people from their homes now prevent them from returning or finding solutions in the places they have settled,” said Alexandra Bilak, IDMC’s director.