More than 9 million people displaced this year, watchdog finds

18 Aug 17

More than 9 million people were internally displaced by conflicts, violence or natural disasters in the first half of 2017, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

Of these displacements, 4.6 million resulted from conflict, a figure that is already equivalent to two-thirds of the 2016 total.

An internally displaced person differs from a refugee in that they remain in their own country under their government’s jurisdiction.

Countries with the highest numbers new internal displacements caused by conflict were:

Democratic Republic of Congo, 997,000

Iraq, 922,000

Syria, 692,000

The Philippines, 466,000

Ethiopia, 213,000

Central African Republic, 206,000

South Sudan, 163,000

Gambia, 162,000

Afghanistan, 159,000

Nigeria, 142,000

Yemen, 112,000

Somalia, 70,000.

The IDMC said the deteriorating situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo meant some 3.7 million people were now displaced there in all as conflicts had spread to new areas and eight of the country's 26 provinces were affected by violence.

Iraq’s displacements resulted mainly from the waves of offensives to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State group, where extensive damage meant those displaced were unlikely to be able to return in the near future.

Natural disasters displaced 4.5 million people as the result of 350 events. Those triggering the highest numbers of new internal displacements were: floods in southern China, (858,000) and cyclone Mora across Bangladesh, India and Myanmar (851,000).

These events were “stark reminders of the fact that the concentration of populations in flood plains and on hazard prone coastlines combined with high levels of vulnerability result in large numbers of new displacements – and will continue to do so in the face of climate change”, the IDMC said.

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