Internal Displacement 2020: Mid-Year Update
Around 14.6 million new internal displacements were recorded across 127 countries and territories between January and June 2020, according to a new report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). Conflict and violence triggered 4.8 million, primarily in Africa and the Middle East, a million more than in the first half of 2019. The greatest increases were in Syria, where nearly 1.5 million were recorded, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with 1.4 million and Burkina Faso with 419,000. The situation in Burkina Faso has deteriorated rapidly into the worst displacement crisis in West Africa as armed groups grow and expand their reach. Elsewhere in Africa, Cameroon, Mozambique, Niger and Somalia reported more new displacements in the first half of 2020 than in the whole of 2019. Sudden and slow-onset disasters triggered 9.8 million new displacements in the first half of 2020. Cyclone Amphan, which led to the pre-emptive evacuation of 3.3 million people in India and Bangladesh, was the largest event. Preliminary estimates indicate that as many as 2.8 million homes were damaged or destroyed in West Bengal, and another 100,000 people are thought to have been left homeless in Bangladesh. This suggests that many of those displaced are likely to remain so for prolonged periods.The report also reveals that many people living in areas exposed to disasters from North America to South Asia are reluctant to leave their homes for fear of contracting Covid-19 in evacuation centres.