Record 38m people internally displaced worldwide
A record 38 million people across the globe are displaced inside their own homelands due to conflicts and violence, with Iraq being the hardest-hit nation, a watchdog group reveals.
The Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) released the data in a report titled Global Overview 2015 on Wednesday.
The report said nearly one third of the internally displaced persons (IDPs), or 11 million people, were forced from their homes last year alone, with an average of 30,000 people fleeing every day.
The IDMC said the total number of those displaced around the globe in 2014 increased by 14 percent compared to the figure reported in the year before.
“These are the worst figures for forced displacement in a generation, signaling our complete failure to protect innocent civilians,” said Jan Egeland (pictured above), the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, which oversees the IDMC.
“This report should be a tremendous wake-up call,” said Egeland, adding, “We must break this trend where millions of men, women and children are becoming trapped in conflict zones around the world.”
The data also showed that a staggering 60 percent of the newly displaced people last year were in just five countries, namely Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Iraqi people have been the hardest hit, with 2.2 million people forced to flee their homes to other parts of the country due to the violence by the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group.
In Syria, some one million more people were forced from their homes last year, bringing the total number of the IDPs in the Middle Eastern country to 7.6 million, or 40 percent of the population.
Ukraine also appeared in the IDMC’s report for the first time, with some 646,500 people internally displaced there in 2014 amid fighting between Kiev government troops and pro-Russia forces in the country’s eastern regions.
The watchdog group said the data also showed that there currently are nearly twice as many people who are internally displaced than refugees – those who flee their homeland – without giving an exact number of the refugees.
According to statistics from the United Nations, some 16.7 million people across the globe were living as refugees at the end of 2013.