Global costs of internal displacement reaches US$20 billion a year

somalia refugees

The global costs of internal displacement has reached 20 billion U.S. dollars a year, compared to 13 billion dollars two years ago, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) said Tuesday.

The increase is explained by a rise in the number of people living in internal displacement which had peaked by the end of 2019 and now stands at 51 million worldwide, the IDMC said in a report released Tuesday.

Among the 22 countries analyzed, Syria has suffered the greatest economic impact amounting to 5.6 billion dollars, or 14 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

In war-torn Syria, the IDMC estimated that close to 6.5 million people have had to flee worsening conditions due to ten years of civil war.

In Somalia, 2.6 million people have had to flee their home and the economic impact reached one billion dollars, 20 percent of the country’s GDP, the IDMC said. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen and Iraq are also among the highly impacted countries mentioned in the report.

“With more people internally displaced around the world than ever before, responding to their needs places an immense financial burden on overstretched humanitarian budgets and fragile national economies that are already suffering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Alexandra Bilak, director of IDMC.

Internal displaced persons are individuals who have fled their homes due to events such as armed conflicts or natural disaster and “have not crossed an internationally recognized border”, as defined by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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