A record 71.1 million people were forced from their homes last year owing to wars like the one in Ukraine and natural disasters like the monsoon floods in Pakistan, according to figures released on Thursday.
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), located in Geneva, reported a 20% increase in that number since 2021, with a record number of persons seeking refuge.
According to IDMC, ten countries, including Syria, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ukraine, and Sudan, are home to about three-quarters of the world’s displaced people as a result of hostilities that triggered considerable displacement in 2022.
In 2017, IDMC reported around 17 million Ukrainian conflict-related displacements.
There were “28.3 million internal displacements worldwide due to conflict and violence,” the report said, noting that this was three times the yearly average over the previous decade.
Floods, droughts, and landslides accounted for the vast majority (32.6 million) of the world’s displaced peoples last year.
“Conflict and disasters combined last year to aggravate people’s pre-existing vulnerabilities and inequalities, triggering displacement on a scale never seen before,” said Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, which established IDMC in 1998.
Internally displaced people were particularly badly struck by a worldwide food security crisis that was fueled by the conflict in Ukraine. Years of work to reduce world hunger and malnutrition have been undone by this perfect storm.