40.5 million people were pushed from their homes last year because of disaster and conflict, seeking refuge within their countries, according to an Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre report published today.
Key data from 2020:
- Weather-related disasters forced 30 million people from their homes.
- 655,00 fled geophysical earthquakes and volcanos.
- Conflicts led to an additional 9.8 million people internally displaced.
- 11.1 million people from sub-Saharan Africa were forced from their homes.
- The total number of internally reached 55 million total.
Worse news: 2020’s number of newly displaced was the highest number in a decade—and is likely an undercount because the pandemic restricted data collection, France24 reports.
Why? Higher temperatures are driving increases in “the intensity and frequency of weather-related hazards,” according to a reliefweb analysis. But: More years of data are needed to forge a direct link to climate change.
The Quote: “It’s shocking that someone was forced to flee their home inside their own country every single second last year,” said the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland. “We are failing to protect the world’s most vulnerable people from conflict and disasters.”