Where the Story Begins…

All along the years, armed conflicts, persecution, terrorism, human rights violations, violence, ethnic strife, the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters, and other factors have negatively affected the lives of millions of people. Those displaced people were forced to flee their homes and nations, struggling to find their basic human rights and needs.

In 2001, about 2 million have been internally displaced during Afghanistan’s war. While, at the same time, 200,000 people became refugees leaving their country’s borders, designating Pakistan as their second host. Also, to those who were displaced due to Iraq’s war in 2003 and others who were displaced as a result of some African humanitarian crisis. In 2004, a range of 20 to 25 million people has been internally displaced; where one of the reasons was due to the Asian tsunami. 

In 2009, those forcibly displaced recorded about 43.3 million. Afterward, the forcibly displaced people has drastically increased all over the world. Since 2012, the refugees’ population has more than doubled. It is worth noting that the highest peak of growth for those forcibly displaced population falls mainly between 2012 and 2015. This is mainly due to the occurrence of Arab Spring revolutions at that time, specifically due to the start of the Syrian conflicts. Other conflicts took place in other areas such as Yemen, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Iraq, and Myanmar (2017). 

In Those Recent Years …

Remarkably, in those recent years, as the world’s population increases, the population of those forcibly displaced populations grew at a faster pace than the global population’s growth. The total population for the forcibly displaced jumped to 70.8 million in 2018, which was as a result of those who were internally displaced in Ethiopia and due to the asylum seekers in Venezuela. Then, at the end of 2019, the population of such a categorized group reached 79.5 million. While, in the mid-2020, forcibly displaced people reached 80 million people, representing 1% of the world’s total population (7.8 billion).

Analyzing Categories by End-2019

The internally displaced people (IDP) represented the biggest share of those total forcibly displaced by 57.4% among other categories. Thus, IDPs reached 45.7 million at the end of 2019. The refugees follow the IDPs in statistics, where they represented 32.7% of total displaced, reaching 26 million. The asylum seekers and the Venezuelans displaced abroad come next reaching 4.2 million and 3.6 million respectively. Both represent the remaining 10% of the total displaced population. 

Covering Up Other Demographic Characteristics by End-2019

Demographic data is essential for studying the effect of displacement on different groups in the population. Unfortunately, about 38- 43% of those displaced are children, below 18 years old; representing about 30 to 34 million children. While nearly half of the 26 million refugees are children.

For those internationally displaced people, males’ proportion exceeds females, covering about 54% of total displaced, where males between 18 -59 years represent the highest contribution by 32%. While those above 60 years old, only 2% of them are internationally displaced. The proportion remaining ages in males ranges between 6-8%. The age pyramid for females is almost distributed the same as that of males, with different percentages.

Concerning the internally displaced age and sex structure, males’ proportion from age 18 to 59 years are also dominating in the internally displaced category by 32%. The proportions are almost equal between those internationally and internally displaced, regardless of their sex or age.

Where Do Displaced People Come From & Where Do They Go?

Notably, 80% of the world’s displaced people originating from countries or territories, that have acute food insecurity and malnutrition. 

About 68% originate from only 5 countries, representing about 16.3 million of the internationally displaced. Syria is ranked on top of those countries, where displaced people reached 6.6 million. Afterward, comes Venezuela, Afghanistan, and South Sudan, where displaced people reached 3.7 million, 2.7 million, and 2.2 million respectively. While Myanmar is the least country among the other 5 countries. Thus, 1.1 million displaced people came from Myanmar.

On the other hand, there are 5 main hosting countries, receiving 9.3 million of those displaced; toped by Turkey which received 3.6 million on its own. Colombia accepted 1.8 million, followed by Pakistan and Uganda which received 1.4 million separately. Finally, comes Germany which hosts a 1.1 million displaced population. 

All mentioned statistics and analysis are only to name a few, which includes only the most crucial data and information about the forcibly displaced populations. All data collected from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC). These data and analyses aim to spot the light on how much life in camps is hard, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, and to support individuals and institutions to identify and implement solutions. 

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