Nearly 15 million people in 127 countries have been newly displaced in 2020, according to a Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre report released today.
And that’s just for the first half of the year—ahead of the vast majority of weather-related hazards that typically fuel much displacement.
- Disasters, including cyclones, floods, bushfires, and locusts triggered the vast majority—9.8 million, The Guardian reports. India and Bangladesh accounted for the most displacements due to disasters—2.67 million and 2.52 million respectively, according to the report.
- And rising conflict and violence have displaced 4.8 million—about 1 million more than the same period last year—primarily in Africa and the Middle East. Syria and DRC account for the most displacements (nearly 1.5 million and 1.4 million, respectively).
- COVID-19 is compounding the staggering figures by reducing access to health care and increasing “economic hardship and protection risks for displaced communities,” IDMC’s director, Alexandra Bilak, said in a news release.
- The pandemic has also obstructed efforts to collect data on the displaced, the report notes.