Record 76m people displaced worldwide, says monitor

GENEVA   -   Conflict in Gaza and Sudan pushed the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) worldwide to a record 75.9 million at the end of 2023, an NGO monitor said on Tuesday.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) said the figure was a new end-of-year numerical high, with the number of people displaced within their own borders having increased by more than 50 percent in the last five years.

The figure was up from 71.1 million at the end of 2022.

While refugees are those who have fled abroad, internal displacement refers to the forced movement of people within the country in which they live.  In its annual Global Report on Internal Displacement, the IDMC said that 68.3 million people worldwide were displaced by conflict and violence, and 7.7 million by disasters.

Over the past five years, the number of IDPs resulting from conflict has increased by 22.6 million, with the two biggest increases in 2022 and 2023. At 9.1 million, Sudan has the highest number of IDPs recorded for a single country since records began in 2008, the monitor said.

IDPs account for 18.4 percent of the population of around 49.4 million, according to AFP calculations using United Nations population figures. In the Gaza Strip, 1.7 million Palestinians were internally displaced by the end of 2023, with 3.4 million new movements.

That means 77 percent of the population of 2.2 million have been forced from their homes, according to AFP calculations based on UN figures.  The bloodiest-ever war in Gaza broke out in October last year.

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