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Africa hosts almost half of the world’s displaced population, IDMC reports

Nairobi, Kenya — A record 75.9 million people are internally displaced due to conflict, and nearly half of that number are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a recent report.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) report shows that 34.8 million people in the region were displaced in 2023, more than the previous year. The biggest increase was in Sudan, which is currently in the middle of a civil war.

Sudanese doctor Aisha Hassan is among the millions of people newly displaced last year.

The doctor said that when she came to work at a hospital to care for those injured in the country’s ongoing civil war, she faced threats from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and gangs. The RSF has been at war with the Sudanese armed forces since April last year.

The threat forced her to abandon her patients and her city, Omdurman, northwest of the capital, Khartoum. Hassan said she and her family fled to safety.

“From there I went to Al-Shimaliyya, in the north of Sudan, it is called Karima. We stayed there for three months, and my family and I went to Port Sudan. From there we moved to Uganda,” he said.

Fighting between the Sudanese armed forces and the RSF has displaced 9.1 million since April 2023, making Sudan the country with the most displaced people in the world. According to the IDMC, the figure marks “the largest amount ever recorded in a single country since records began in 2008.”

The conflict has made it difficult for aid agencies to reach millions of people in need, leading to more displacement in search of food, water, medicine and safety.

Elsewhere, fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between the army and rebels has displaced nearly 7 million people. The conflict in Ethiopia, which began with a two-year war in Tigray in 2020 and erupted in many parts of the country, displaced 790,000 people last year.

Conflicts in Africa are often over territory, community politics and resource control, and at least 10 African countries, predominantly in West Africa, are facing terrorism-related conflicts.

Burkina Faso is the worst affected of the West African countries, with 700,000 people displaced last year, 61 percent more than in 2022.

“Increasing conflict is really contributing to the upward trend, and especially climate-related disasters, including floods, storms and droughts, are also helping to push the numbers to an all-time high,” said coordinator and author Vicente Anzellini. major. of the IDMC report. “So all of this is really a worrying trend. However, it is important to underline that governments and humanitarian actors are taking more action and producing more data. And this, of course, influences the trend.”

Anzellini said governments need to improve their capabilities to resolve conflicts and deal with natural disasters.