More than 31.1 million people have been displaced in 2016 worldwide, with over 922,000 people were forced to flee their homes inside the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the highest number of internal displacement due to conflict recorded globally according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) report.
“DRC’s largely forgotten crisis in central Africa superseded all other crises in terms of the number of people forced to flee their homes,” said Ulrika Blom, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Country Director in DRC. “Even Syria or Yemen’s brutal wars did not match the number of new people on the move in DRC last year.”
The IDMC report found that the political insecurity in DRC has aggravated long-standing ethnic tensions and clashes between armed groups last year, especially in North and South Kivu provinces in the east of the country.
The overall number of people displaced in DRC is over 3.7 million and over 1 million have been displaced in 2017 so far, due the violent clashes in Kasai province. DRC has 20 years of armed conflict and inter-communal violence that has made millions of people into vulnerable, food insecure, malnourished and affected by epidemic outbreaks.
Many citizens across the world have been displaced within their country because of conflict, violence and disasters. Disasters, mostly weather hazards including floods, storms, wildfires and severe winter conditions, were responsible for 24 million displacements.
“In 2016, one person every second was forced to flee their home inside their own country,” said Jan Egeland, NRC secretary-general. “Internally displaced people now outnumber refugees by two to one. It is urgent to put internal displacement back on the global agenda.”
An internally displaced person (IDP) does not have legal status like refugees that allows them get certain rights and international protection.