Nearly 76 million internally displaced people around the world at the end of 2023, according to the Observatory of Internal Displacement Situations

Conflicts in Sudan, Gaza and the Democratic Republic of Congo have pushed the number of internally displaced people to an all-time high of 75

Nearly 76 million internally displaced people around the world at the end of 2023, according to the Observatory of Internal Displacement Situations

Conflicts in Sudan, Gaza and the Democratic Republic of Congo have pushed the number of internally displaced people to an all-time high of 75.9 million by the end of 2023, according to an annual report released by the 'Observatory of Internal Displacement Situations (IDMC), Tuesday May 14. Their number has increased by 50% over the last five years, specifies the non-governmental organization which put their total at 71.1 million at the end of 2022.

Violence and conflict are the main cause of these forced displacements (68.3 million) while disasters have forced 7.7 million people to flee and settle elsewhere. Over the past five years, the number of people displaced by violence and conflict has jumped by 22.6 million. The two largest increases taking place in 2022 and 2023.

With 9.1 million internally displaced people, Sudan has the highest number of displaced people ever recorded in a single country since 2008 when counting began, the IDMC noted. Nearly half of all displaced people live in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Over the past two years, we have seen an alarming number of people forced to flee their homes due to conflict and violence, even in regions where the trend was improving,” said Alexandra Bilak, director of the NGO. “The conflicts and devastation they leave behind prevent millions of people from rebuilding their lives, often for years,” she added.

More than a million internally displaced people in the Gaza Strip

In addition to the number of displaced people, IDMC also tracks the number of internal displacements: each new forced movement of a person within their country's borders. Thus, the evacuation order which hits certain parts of Rafah, the town in the south of the Gaza Strip threatened by a large-scale Israeli ground operation, has already forced Gazans to move five or even six times, had communicated by the United Nations in early May. In the Gaza Strip, 1.7 million Palestinians were internally displaced at the end of 2023, with 3.4 million new movements.

In 2023, there were 46.9 million forced movements of people: 20.5 million internal displacements due to conflict and violence, and 26.4 million due to disasters, a third of which took place in China and in Turkey due to severe weather and large earthquakes.

Throughout 2023, 6 million forced displacements of people took place due to violence in Sudan, more than in the previous fourteen years combined. This is the second highest number of forced movements in a year, after the 16.9 million recorded in Ukraine in 2022.