An estimated 14.6 million new internal displacements have been recorded across 127 countries and territories in first half of 2020, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) said Wednesday.

“The staggering figures recorded in the first six months of the year are testament to the persistent volatility of displacement crises worldwide,” Alexandra Bilak, IDMC’s director said in a report.

“Compounding this is the Covid-19 pandemic, which has reduced access to health care and increased economic hardship and protection risks for displaced communities,” Bilak added.

The report said that conflict and violence triggered 4.8 million displacements, while natural disasters accounted for 9.8 million people.

“The greatest increases were in Syria, where nearly 1.5 million were recorded, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with 1.4 million and Burkina Faso with 419,000,” it added.

The report highlighted the situation in Burkina Faso, saying the situation “has deteriorated rapidly into the worst displacement crisis in West Africa as armed groups grow and expand their reach.”

Cameroon, Somalia, Mozambique and Niger saw more new displacements in the first half of 2020 than in the whole of 2019, it said.

“It is extremely worrying to report numbers this high so early in the year, particularly as we know that the majority of weather-related hazards in 2020 are still to come,” Bilak voiced.

“Our report confirms once more that the international community must support governments in reversing these trends and finding long-term solutions to displacement,” she added.

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