Global Conflicts Force Displaced People Numbers To Soar

May 31, 2024

War and famine forced 68 million people worldwide to flee their homes by the end of 2023. That's the highest number since collection of displacement data began 15 years ago. Natural disasters caused another 7.7 million people to leave their homes.

The Internal Monitoring Displacement Center (IOM) recorded the data. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland. It says the total number of people displaced in 2023 was nearly 76 million. That's a massive leap of 47 million displaced people from a year before, according to IOM.

“As the planet grapples with conflicts and disasters, the staggering numbers ... (tell) a harrowing tale,” General Ugochi Daniels said on the group’s website. He is IOM's Deputy Director. “This report is a stark reminder of the ... need to expand disaster risk reduction, support peacebuilding, ensure the protection of human rights and whenever possible, prevent the displacement before it happens.”

The displacements are found around the world. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for nearly half of them. Conflicts are ongoing in Sudan. It is locked in a bloody civil war. It has caused severe hunger. More than 9.1 million have been displaced there, IOM said. The Democratic Republic of Congo also has many displaced people. It is dealing with an insurgency. It has made the nation less stable. 

Many displaced people will not be able to go home any time soon. Christelle Cazabat leads IOM’s programming. She told The Guardian: “Not only do we have new crises starting or old crises that are being reignited … (but) the people who have been displaced for years, sometimes even decades, (are) not able to start their lives anew or live in the way they did before their displacement.”

Reflect: What do you think are some ways people can help others who have had to leave their homes because of difficult situations?

Photo of Sudanese refugee camp from Wikimedia Commons courtesy of Henry Wilkins/VOA.

The information from the IOM report referenced in the second paragraph most likely means that _______. (Common Core RI.5.1; RI.6.1)
a. data has been collected for more than 15 years
b. the number of displaced people has increased significantly
c. Sub-Saharan Africa has nearly half of the displaced people
d. natural disasters caused 7.7 million displacements
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