27.5 million displaced people around the globe—UN report

Published by rudy Date posted on March 24, 2011

UNITED NATIONS—Some 27.5 million people have been displaced within their countries by natural disaster, famine and war, the highest number in a decade, according to a new report released Wednesday.

“Close to three million people in 20 countries across the world were newly displaced from conflict and violence during 2010, and large scale displacement continues,” said Elisabeth Rasmussen, who heads the Norwegian Refugee Council, which conducted the study, along with the United Nations.

“As we speak, thousands of civilians in Cote d’Ivoire are fleeing to save their lives with the international community incapable of responding,” Rasmusson said.

“More than half a million people there have been internally displaced since December, following the disputed presidential election, and more than 100,000 have fled to Liberia.”

The study, “Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2010,” was also released by UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy.

The report found that Africa alone accounted for 40 percent of all internally displaced people, but it is the only continent where the numbers are falling.

Most of its displaced people, the study said, are concentrated in Sudan, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.

In the Middle East, meanwhile, the number of internally displaced people more than tripled over the past decade, while throughout Asia, the number has risen 70 percent in the last five years, largely due to ongoing conflicts in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In Colombia and Mexico, large numbers of people were displaced due to drug-related crime. Colombia, in fact, is the country with the single greatest numbers of internally displaced people: between 3.6 million and 5.2 million were estimated to have been dislodged by civil war and drug violence by the end of last year. –Agence France-Presse

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