It is a pleasure to be a guest writer in today’s IOM Migration Newsdesk. This is a key week for us at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), as we publish our new Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID 2016), marking a significant breakthrough for us we synthesize all our reporting on global internal displacement into one report.
This will be supported by a new Global Data Platform which will continually update the figures online. By reporting on all situations of internal displacement, regardless of their cause, our intention is to provide an ever more holistic picture of what has truly become a global crisis.
The key findings of the report reveal that conflict, violence and disasters internally displaced 27.8 million people in 2015, subjecting a record number of men, women and children to the trauma and upheaval of being forcibly displaced within their own country.
This is the equivalent of the combined populations of New York City, London, Paris and Cairo grabbing what they can carry, and setting out on a journey filled with uncertainty.
The report covers internal displacement caused by conflict and sudden-onset disasters, on which the IDMC has been the global authority for years. In addition it now also explores displacement currently "off the grid", such as that caused by criminal and gang violence, slow-onset disasters like drought, and development projects. It also takes the reader “inside the grid” and presents some of the methodological and conceptual challenges faced in trying to paint as complete a picture as possible.
Having comprehensive and accurate figures is essential to efforts to alleviate the suffering and needs of tens of millions of highly vulnerable people. National governments have primary responsibility for collecting this data, and for protecting and assisting internally displaced people. Sadly, this responsibility is not fulfilled in many contexts.
The report’s findings are stark: Some 8.6 million new displacements associated with conflict and violence were recorded in 2015, and as of the end of the year, the total including those who were internally displaced in previous years stood at 40.8 million. As if this were not enough, 19.2 million people were newly internally displaced by disasters in 113 countries.
Additionally, preliminary estimates of internal displacement by other causes suggest at least a million people forced to flee criminal violence in Mexico and Central America, and tens of millions more by development projects such as dams, urban renewal projects and mega sporting events, as we witnessed on our recent fact finding mission to India
This report illustrates the many challenges to addressing this global crisis of internal displacement. It also highlights the glaring absence of political solutions to address displacement, and is a stark reminder that we all need to work together in finding solutions to reverse this unrelenting trend.
You can find more details here.
Alexandra Bilak is IDMC Interim Director