They are now living in desperate conditions and are in dire need of food, shelter and health care.
This recent displacement adds to a caseload of approximately 1 million people who have fled the conflict.
The humanitarian need is huge, with older people among the most vulnerable. Those who are less mobile, and therefore find it difficult to escape dangerous areas, are particularly at risk.
There is an urgent need for further assessment of the needs and vulnerabilities of older people in the current emergency. In the absence of a presence on the ground, HelpAge International is standing by to provide technical expertise and material support to Merlin in the field.
The immediate relief phase could last for several months and, depending on the outcome of the assessment and the security situation, may be followed by longer-term rehabilitation work.