A record 33.3 million now displaced by war worldwide, as one family flees inside Syria every 60 seconds

**For immediate release**

GENEVA, 14 MAY 2014: 33.3 million people were internally displaced at the end of 2013 due to conflict and violence says a new report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).  This equates to a staggering increase of 4.5 million from 2012, signalling a record high for the second year running. 

Today IDMC, part of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), launched its Global Overview 2014 at the United Nations in Geneva, alongside the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The report, which covers internal displacement in 2013 highlights that a full 63% of the record breaking 33.3 million internally displaced people (IDPs) reported worldwide, come from just five countries:  Syria, Colombia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan. Including figures for Nigeria for the first time, the report documents that an astounding, 3.3 million Nigerians have been displaced by conflict.

“This record number of people forced to flee inside their own countries confirms a disturbing upward trend of internal displacement since IDMC first began monitoring and analysing displacement back in the late 90s,” says Jan Egeland, the Secretary General of NRC.  

“The dramatic increase in forced displacement in 2013 and the fact that the average amount of time people worldwide are living in displacement is now a staggering 17 years, all suggest that something is going terribly wrong in how we are responding and dealing with this issue,” says Egeland.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres added: “We should all be concerned about these numbers and the continuing upwards trend. We have a shared responsibility to act to end this massive suffering.  Immediate protection and assistance for the internally displaced is a humanitarian imperative.”

By the end of 2013, 8.2 million people were newly displaced, an increase of 1.6 million compared to the year before. A shocking 43% of all the people newly displaced in 2013 were in Syria.

“The IDMC report reveals a frightening reality of life inside Syria, now the largest internal displacement crisis in the world,” says Egeland. “Not only do armed groups control the areas where internal displacement camps are located, these camps are badly managed, provide inadequate shelter, sanitation and limited aid delivery.” Further to this, the IDMC report reveals how large concentrations of IDPs have been particularly targeted by artillery bombardments and airstrikes.

With 9,500 people a day (approximately one family every 60 seconds) being displaced inside Syria, the country remains the largest and fastest evolving displacement crisis in the world.

The three countries experiencing the worst levels of new displacement - Syria, the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - together accounted for 67% of the 8.2 million people newly displaced in the year.

“That these three countries appear top of the IDMC list reveals an alarming reality,” said Alfredo Zamudio, Director of IDMC. “They account not only for those fleeing from relatively new crises, as in Syria and CAR, but are also reflective of the horrendous situations still faced by innocent people stuck in the midst protracted conflict, such as the DRC which has suffered persistent turmoil dating back to the mid 90’s.” 

Egeland continues: “These trends do not bode well for the future – we have to sit up, listen up and act up by working more closely together to end this misery for millions; humanitarians alone cannot make this happen.”

“Global internal displacement is everyone’s problem, from politicians to private companies, development actors and lawyers – we all have a role to play,” said Egeland.

- END –

To download the full report, summary, maps and charts, click on this link.

Note to editors:

  • In 2013, IDMC celebrates its 15th year of monitoring internally displaced people throughout the world. 
  • With over 12.5 million IDPs in 21 countries at the end of 2013, sub-Saharan Africa remained the region with the highest level of displacement brought about by conflict and violence.
  • The number of internally displaced people in Nigeria is included in the annual report for the first time, with a total 3.3 million IDPs in the country, according to the National Commission for Refugees. Nigeria serves as a good example among governments that have promoted and supported efforts to collect better data in 2013.
  • By the end of 2013, at least 6.3 million people were internally displaced in four countries in the Americas region. The vast majority were in Colombia, showing a constant increase over a ten-year period due to the country’s protracted conflict.
  • The report covers displacement occurring in 2013 and is based on data provided by governments, NGO partners and UN agencies. It documents the figures and analysis of internal displacement in 5 regions, and in 60 war-affected countries and territories in 2013 – the year that IDMC celebrated its 15th year of global monitoring.
  • Percentages are calculated based on actual figures, not rounded figures.
  • A key feature of the report is its analysis of the multiple and interlinked causes of internal displacement worldwide, from conflicts over land and resources in many African contexts, to mass displacements from criminal violence often seen in parts of many parts of Latin America.

NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland will be available for a limited number of interviews on the 14th May 2014. Please arrange an interview in advance by contacting:

Clare Spurrell, Head of Communications

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre 
E-Mail: clare.spurrell@nrc.ch 
Mobile: 41 79 379 89 52

About IDMC 
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is a world leader in the monitoring and analysis of the causes, effects and responses to internal displacement. Through its monitoring and analysis of people internally displaced by conflict, generalised violence, human rights violations, and natural or human-made disasters, IDMC raises awareness and advocates for respect of the rights of at-risk and uprooted peoples.

IDMC is part of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). For more information, visit our website at www.internal‐displacement.org  

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About Us

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), established in 1998 by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), is the leading international body monitoring internal displacement worldwide.

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