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55M internally displaced by 2020 in grim record: Report

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This picture shows dozens of shelters made by Central African refugees who fled from Bangassou to Ndu, Bas-Uele Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, 21 January 2021. AFP

55M internally displaced by 2020 in grim record: Report

Conflicts and natural disasters forced someone to flee within their own country every second of last year, pushing the number of people living in internal displacement to a record high, monitors said on May 20.

This came despite strict restrictions on movement imposed around the globe in efforts to halt the spread of Covid-19, which observers had expected to push down displacement numbers last year.

But 2020 was also marked by intense storms, persistent conflicts and explosions of violence, forcing 40.5 million people to become newly displaced within their countries, according to a joint report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

That is the highest number of newly displaced reported in 10 years, and brings the total number people living in internal displacement around the world to a record 55 million, the report showed.

The number of internally displaced people is now more than double the some 26 million people who have fled across borders as refugees.

NRC chief Jan Egeland said in a statement: “We are failing to protect the world’s most vulnerable people from conflict and disasters.”

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