As if Syrian government offensives were not driving enough people from their homes, a Turkish intervention in the north has forced tens of thousands more to flee.
Last week marked the seventh anniversary of the start of Syria’s civil war, but there was little to celebrate. The fighting continues unabated, forcing around 500,000 people to flee their homes in the first weeks of 2018 alone. Many of them were already living in displacement.
Chaos in Afrin
Since the outbreak of conflict in Syria in 2011, close to half the country’s pre-war population has been displaced. According to the IASC framework on durable solutions for internally displaced persons, “a durable solution is achieved when internally displaced persons no longer have any specific assistance and protection needs that are linked to their displacement and can enjoy their human rights without discrimination on account of their displacement.”
Three reasons why internal displacement should be more firmly embedded in the global compact on refugees.
As many as 273,000 people newly displaced, half of whom are minors, were recorded between 15 December and 29 January in central and northern Idleb and northern Hama due to a government-led offensive in the governorates (OCHA, 7 Feb 2018; OCHA, 23 Jan 2018; Save the Children, 17 Jan 2018). Parts of the contested areas have reportedly been emptied of civilians (OCHA, 16 Jan 2018). Most of the population in the town of Saraqab, in Idleb province, has been displaced (OCHA, 7 Feb 2018).
Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, declared Boko Haram “technically defeated” in 2015, but in reality the insurgency is far from over. The number of suicide bomb attacks was at its highest in two years in 2017. The group’s violence and the military campaign against it have forced 1.9 million people to flee their homes in north-eastern Nigeria since 2009, and Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, at one point doubled in size as many sought the relative security of the city and its periphery.
Urban experts, planners, humanitarians and development organisations gather in Kuala Lumpur this week for the 9th World Urban Forum. Under the slogan of Cities for All, they discuss how growing mega-cities and rapidly transforming towns present opportunities and risks in equal measure.
This Quarterly Update covers the activities of the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) between 1 October and 31 December 2017. It is also available online www. internal-displacement.org
IDMC’s Africa Report on Internal Displacement: 15,000 people displaced every day inside African countries
Experts at the first International Forum on Migration Statistics this month talked extensively about the need for more data on human mobility to support the 2030 Agenda. Yet despite the clear nexus between internal displacement and the Sustainable Development Goals, little if any attention was given to the issue. IDMC’s researcher Christelle Cazabat shares her views and explains why this was a major oversight
As many as 790,000 people were displaced between 16 and 28 December in Regions V, VI, VII, VIII, XIII and MIMAROPA due to Tropical Storm Urduja/Kai-Tak which made landfall in the Philippines on 12 December and exited on 19 December. A total of 418,000 people stayed in evacuation centres, while 372,000 people stayed with families and friends. As of 28 December, all evacuees had returned home (DROMIC, 4 Jan 2018).
East Asia and Pacific
Affected areas: Aceh, Bali, Central Java, East Java, Lombok and North Sumatra
Cause of displacement: Disaster
Figures: More than 102,000 new displacements between 25 November and 13 December
Internal displacement in Afghanistan is rising steeply. The number of people who fled their homes to take refuge elsewhere in the country grew from 492,000 in 2012 to well over 1.5 million toward the end of 2016. There were over 650,000 new conflict displacements in the country in 2016 alone. The security situation has deteriorated to such an extent that Afghanistan was reclassified as a country in active conflict in 2017. For many Afghans, this heightens the risk of continued or new displacement.
15,000 people displaced every day inside African countries, according to new IDMC report
IDMC's director calls on the development sector to join humanitarians in preventing and reducing internal displacement and finding long-term solutions for the millions of people affected
As the world focuses its attention on preventing irregular migration and protecting refugees coming out of Africa, the displacement that happens behind its own borders persists at an alarming rate.
Affected areas Kermanshah province
Cause of displacement Disaster
Figures More than 70,000 new displacements between 12 and 14 November
More than 550,000 refugees made the arduous journey back to their countries of origin in 2016, mainly to countries experiencing ongoing armed conflict and unresolved displacement crises such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan. So far in 2017, we have already witnessed a similar trend, with refugees returning home to violent conflict and complex emergencies in Syria, Iraq, northeast Nigeria and Myanmar.
Western media have been flooded in recent years with harrowing images and stories of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants risking – and in thousands of cases, losing - their lives on dangerous journeys over land and sea. News of their plight has raised awareness of distant chaos and human suffering and, quite rightly, prompted landmark political agreements such as the September 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.
Long considered one of the world’s largest and most complex humanitarian crises, the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is getting even worse. Here, we put the current displacement figures in context, describe the challenges in getting accurate data and add to the chorus of calls for humanitarian efforts to be scaled up
In the absence of any progress in the peace process, Ukraine is facing the challenge of protracted internal displacement. IDMC’s director, Alexandra Bilak and researcher & writer, Elizabeth Rushing, report on their findings from discussions in September 2017 with displacement-affected communities living along the conflict’s contact line.
Affected areas Kirkuk and Salah Din governorates
Cause of displacement Conflict
Figures More than 133,000 new displacements between 21 September and 17 October