Wars and disasters… a global increase in the number of displaced persons

Wars and disasters… a global increase in the number of displaced persons
Wars and disasters… a global increase in the number of displaced persons

The past year recorded a large and record jump in the number of people who had to flee their homes around the world, according to the British newspaper “The Guardian”.

According to figures published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center of the Norwegian Refugee Council (IDMC), the number of people displaced within their country by the end of 2022 reached 71 million, after the figure was 59.1 million in 2021.

The number of movements made, again and again, by the displaced as they headed in search of safety and shelter was also unprecedented, at 60.9 million, which was a 60% increase on the previous year.

Ukraine, against which Russia waged a brutal war, witnessed a large proportion of the movement of displacement and movements, as the number of displaced people was estimated at about 17 million.

An estimated 5.9 million Ukrainians are believed to have fled their homes, many of whom have had to move repeatedly trying to find resources, a place to stay, or just temporary shelter away from the bombing and fighting.

The report stressed that due to the difficulty in obtaining reliable data from the areas occupied by the invading forces, the figures, despite their magnitude, “should be considered conservative.”

The natural disasters that struck Pakistan last summer were also a major driver of displacement, as the floods that devastated much of the country caused the movement of more than eight million people.

“Last year conflicts and disasters combined to exacerbate people’s pre-existing vulnerabilities and inequalities, resulting in displacement on a scale never seen before,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The organization’s report added: “The war in Ukraine also fueled a global food security crisis that hit internally displaced people the most, as the Kremlin’s invasion of the western neighbor undermined years of clear progress in reducing hunger and malnutrition in the world.”

3 tough weeks in Sudan

The report, released on Thursday, does not include the first months of 2023, but notes a significant increase in displacement after the recent outbreak of fighting in Sudan.

He noted that the three weeks of “civil war” between the RSF and the Sudanese army had already caused twice the number of internal displacements compared to the whole of last year.

Many of the displaced face protracted displacement due to conflicts that go on for years and are never resolved.

Nearly three-quarters of the world’s internally displaced population live in just 10 countries.

All of them suffer from a certain level of conflict, whether it is raging wars like Sudan or Ukraine, or through intermittent security disturbances in Nigeria, Somalia and other countries.

Many of these countries also face severe levels of food insecurity, a problem exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, a major grain exporter.

“Today’s displacement crises are increasing in scale, complexity and scope, with factors such as food insecurity, climate change and escalating and protracted conflict adding new layers to this phenomenon,” said Alexandra Bellak, Director of the Displacement Monitoring Centre.

And she added, “The displaced need more resources and more aid to better respond to their crises.”