Quarterly Update April - June 2018
Feature article: Global Report on Internal Displacement 2018
Conflict and disasters displaced 30.6 million people within their own countries last year, according to IDMC’s flagship report, which we launched on 16 May.
Our Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID) 2018 presents the latest data and trends of internal displacement caused by conflict and disasters worldwide. With another year of shocking figures, IDMC Director, Alexandra Bilak, concluded: “There were 30.6 million new internal displacements in 2017: the equivalent of 80,000 people displaced each day. It’s time for an honest conversation, led by affected countries and with support from the international community, on the most effective ways to turn the tide on this global phenomenon.” Conflict and violence displaced 11.8 million people, the highest number in a decade, and almost double the 6.9 million displaced in 2016. Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq accounted for more than half of the total figure. Elsewhere, new waves of violence in the Central African Republic, El Salvador and Somalia pushed them into the top ten worst-affected countries.
The total number of people living in internal displacement due to conflict is now close to 40 million worldwide.
Disasters, mostly floods and tropical storms, displaced 18.8 million people in 135 countries in 2017. The worst-affected states were China, the Philippines, Cuba, the US and India. As in previous years, displacement was concentrated in regions with high levels of vulnerability and exposure to natural hazards. We also recorded data for displacement associated with drought for the first time, and found 1.3 million people had been affected, mainly in the Horn of Africa.
Drivers of displacement are varied and multifaceted but a few situations stood out in 2017. Complex emergencies in places like Yemen and South Sudan, involving a breakdown in the rule of law, a weakened economy and limited humanitarian access, led to significant displacement. It was also a year of cyclones, with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria displacing millions in the Atlantic and Caribbean, highlighting the vital need to address the impacts of climate change and develop disaster risk reduction strategies.
GRID 2018 questioned why states and the international community are still struggling to prevent and resolve internal displacement, despite 20 years of attempts to do so. Calling for a new approach where affected-countries take the lead, the report concludes that more investment must be made in peacebuilding, disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and addressing the impacts of climate change.