Record number of people on the run (aka, internally displaced people) worldwide

A report by the Norwegian Refugee Council showing a record number (nearly 29 million) of internally displaced people, IDPs, worldwide. What this means is a lot of families are suffering. Much of this is in Syria, due to the horrible conflict there. It's important to realize that when families are sent on the run, children often suffer the most. As this map shows, it's not just Syria. "Internal displacement" is a global problem.

We could use some more powerful, less euphemistic, language here to describe this massive global problem.

My thanks to Mark Goldberg, at UN Dispatch, for pointing out this report by the Norwegian Refugee Council showing a record number (nearly 29 million) of internally displaced people, IDPs, worldwide. What this means is a lot of families are suffering. Much of this is in Syria, due to the horrible conflict there. It’s important to realize that when families are sent on the run, children often suffer the most. It’s hard to imagine making progress against poverty, or the diseases of poverty, until this is dealt with.

As this map shows, it’s not just Syria. Colombia actually has the highest IDP rate per capita. “Internal displacement” is a global problem.

IDPsmapHere’s a related report from Thomson Reuters noting that Africa’s violent conflicts in 2012 made it one of the worst years in a decade for displacement.

Also, The Guardian looks at the IDP situation in Somalia and how to return hundreds of thousands of people to their homes. This is a huge problem for many of the world’s poorest countries. It’s time to come up with some better lingo.

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Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at]humanosphere.org or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.