A record 50.8 million people worldwide are internally displaced due to conflict or disaster, with the coronavirus pandemic posing a new threat, a report warned on Tuesday.
In its annual report, the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) said the ongoing global pandemic may add further risks to millions of already vulnerable people, the BBC reported.
Over 45 million have been forced to abandon their homes due to violence.
A further five million have been displaced by natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods, the IDMC said in the report.
It added that the number of people internally displaced, those who flee conflict or disaster but remain in their own countries, has now reached a record high.
New replacements in 2019
Contributing to the figures, the report said that there were 33.4 million new displacements recorded in 2019, the highest annual figure since 2012.
But even without the pandemic, the number of internally displaced people across the globe is a sign, the new report said, of collective failure.
The IDMC has called on governments to work towards solving conflicts like the civil war in Syria, where about a million people have fled their homes since December 2019 to escape a government offensive in a conflict that began nine years ago, reports the BBC.
It also highlighted conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
The report suggests that more could be done to tackle climate change and to prepare for natural disasters, with millions of people displaced last year by cyclones and floods.
It calls on governments to ensure that those who have become displaced be given access to healthcare during the pandemic, and in the longer term, to address the causes of displacement.