Internal Displacement Update
Issue 24: 24 August - 6 September 2017

Issue 24 map
Feature

United States of America

Affected areas

Louisiana and Texas

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

As many as 1.9 million new disaster displacements between 28 and 31 August

Context

As many as 1.9 million people were displaced between 28 and 31 August in the coastal areas of Louisiana and Texas as a consequence of Hurricane Harvey that brought strong winds, flooding and caused widespread damage. This included as many as 1.76 million people evacuated from their homes in Texas, and as many as 140,000 evacuated in Louisiana (FEMA, 30 Aug 2017). About 34,000 people remained in 277 shelters as of 4 September (FEMA, 4 Sept 2017). As of 2 September, at category 4, Harvey was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the US since 2005 (The Atlantic, 2 Sept 2017). 

East Asia and Pacific

Bangladesh

Affected areas

Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sylhet divisions

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 427,000 new disaster displacements between 12 August and 4 September

Context

More than more than 427,000 people were displaced by flooding in the divisions of Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Sylhet between 12 August and 3 September. Those displaced were forced to leave their homes as heavy rainfall and subsequent downhill streams led to the inundation of river basin areas in northern areas of Bangladesh  (HCTT, 4 Sept 2017; IFRC, 4 Sept 2017; The Guardian, 31 Aug 2017). About 46,000 people were being housed in 172 shelters as of 3 September (HCTT, 4 Sept 2017). The flooding, described by the IFRC as the worst in 40 years, has washed away entire homes, crops, livestock and other food supplies, leaving communities fearful of starvation (CNN, 1 Sept 2017). 

China

Affected areas

Chongqing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan provinces

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

As many as 138,000 new disaster displacements between 20 August and 6 September

Context

South Central China

More than 92,000 people were evacuated in the south-central provinces of Guangxi and Guangdong between 20 August and 4 September because of heavy rainfall and winds brought on by Typhoon Hato, Tropical Storm Pakhar and Tropical Storm Mawar. This included as many as 70,000 people who were evacuated between 3 and 4 September after Tropical Storm Mawar made landfall in Guangdong, more than 14,000 people who were evacuated between 27 and 31 August in Guangxi and Guangdong because of Tropical Storm Pakhar, and about 7,800 people evacuated  in Guangxi between 20 and 25 August by Typhoon Hato (Ministry of Civil Affairs, 25 Sept 2017; Ministry of Civil Affairs, 31 Aug 2017; Xinhua, 4 Sept 2017).  

East China

More than 28,000 people were evacuated in Fujian province between 20 August and 2 September due to the effects of Typhoon Hato and Tropical Storm Mawar. Of these, more than 26,000 people were pre-emptively evacuated on 2 September before Mawar made landfall in the south central province of Guangdong on 3 September (Ministry of Civil Affairs, 25 Aug 2017; Xinhua, 3 Sept 2017; Xinhua, 2 Sept 2017). 

Southwest China 

More than 17,000 people were evacuated in the south-west provinces of Chongqing, Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan of the Southwest region between 23 August and 6 September following heavy rains that triggered flooding and landslides. This included about 8,400 people evacuated in Yunnan province between 23 and 26 August because of Typhoon Hato as well as about 400 people evacuated in Guizhou between 27 and 31 August because of Typhoon Pakhar  (Xinhua, 26 Aug 2017; Ministry of Civil Affairs, 31 Aug 2017; Ministry of Civil Affairs, 31 Aug 2017; Ministry of Civil Affairs, 1 Sept 2017; Ministry of Civil Affairs, 4 Sept 2017; Ministry of Civil Affairs, 6 Sept 2017). 

Northwest China

As many as 800 people were evacuated in the north-west provinces of Qinghai and Shaanxi between 30 August and 4 September following heavy rains and landslides (ECHO, 31 Aug 2017; Ministry of Civil Affairs, 31 Aug 2017).

Myanmar

Affected areas

Cause of displacement

Figures

Context

More than 151,000 people were forced to flee their homes due to conflict-related violence in Rakhine state between 25 August and 6 September, of which 124,000 people had crossed into Bangladesh by 6 September. About 27,000 people reportedly remained displaced in Rakhine state as of 6 September. This number, however, does not include an unknown number of Rohingya people who, in light of the magnitude of recent Rohingya arrivals in Bangladesh, are likely to be displaced within Rakhine. Large-scale cross border movements into Bangladesh come after attacks on government posts by members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army triggered a severe military crackdown and the burning and destruction of Rohingya villages (ECHO, 5 Sept 2017IOM, 6 Sept 2017Amnesty International, 7 Sept 2017Reuters, 6 Sept 2017). Access to Rakhine state is severely limited, making verifiable information on the number and needs of the newly displaced difficult to determine (OCHA, 4 Sept 2017). “We are likely looking at a full-blown humanitarian crisis that warrants a large-scale response. We now need full and unimpeded access to affected communities, including all parts of the northern Rakhine (state),” said NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland on 6 September (NRC, 6 Sept 2017).

Nepal

Affected areas

Province 1, 2 and 5

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

As many as 461,000 new disaster displacements between 12 and 25 August

Context

As many as 461,000 people were displaced between 12 and 25 August due to floods and landslides caused by heavy monsoon rains in Province 1, 2 and 5 which affected the districts of Rautahat, Saptari, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Bardiya, Banke. Sunsari and Morang (OCHA, 21 Aug 2017; Government of Nepal, 28 Aug 2017). The heaviest destruction occurred in the Rautahat and Saptari districts in Province 1 where more than 266,000 people were displaced during the period (OCHA, 21 Aug 2017). While the majority of people had returned to their communities as of 1 September, many were unable to return to their homes and so sought refuge with neighbours or in make-shift shelters (OCHA, 1 Sept 2017). This year’s monsoon season has caused devastating destruction to housing, infrastructure and farmlands, affecting as many as 1.7 million people as of 4 September  (OCHA, 4 Sept 2017). 

Middle East and North Africa

Iraq

Affected areas

Country-wide

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 700,000 returns; and about 5,500 cross border returns from Turkey and Syria between January and 29 August 2017

Context

More than 700,000 IDPs returned to their communities of origin between January and 29 August 2017, with the highest numbers returning to Anbar and Ninewa governorates. An additional 5,000 Iraqi refugees returned from Turkey in the same time period, mostly to Mosul. Returns from Turkey have been occurring both spontaneously and under the purview of return programmess organised by Iraqi authorities. An additional 500 Iraqis returned from Syria between January and late August, mostly Yazidis going back to the town of Sinjar in Ninewa governorate. Despite increasing returns, the security situation remains volatile and returnees face risks due not only to ongoing insecurity and the presence of armed groups, but also due to the widespread destruction of critical infrastructure (UNHCR, 29 Aug 2017).

North America

Canada

Affected areas

British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 7,800 new disaster displacements between 24 August and 5 September

Context

More than 1,100 people were forced out of their homes between 24 and 27 August due to wildfires in British Columbia. About 600 people had returned home by 27 August (CBC News, 27 Aug 2017). 

As many as 2,500 people were evacuated from their homes between 29 August and 5 September due to wildfires in northern Saskatchewan (CTV News, 5 Sept 2017). 

About 4,200 people from Wasagamack, Garden Hill and Saint-Theresa Point First Nations in Manitoba were evacuated from their homes between 29 August and 5 September, seeking refuge in Winnipeg and Brandon from wildfires that spread into dense woodlands (CBC News, 5 Sept 2017).

South Asia

Afghanistan

Affected areas

Badghis, Faryab, Hilmand, Kabul, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Nangarhar, Paktika, Paktya provinces

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

About 37,000 new conflict displacements between 21 and 27 August; about 8,600 cross border returns from Iran; and about 1,100 cross border returns from Pakistan between 20 and 26 August

Context

About 37,000 people were displaced by conflict and insecurity within Afghanistan between 21 and 27 August. The largest displacement flows occurred within Faryab province where more than 20,000 people were forced to flee during the period, as well as Badghis province where as many as 12,000 people fled violence, mostly towards areas under the control of non-state armed groups. Fighting, insecurity and intimidation from non-state armed groups forced smaller numbers to flee in other provinces between 21 and 27 August, including about 2,800 people from Paktya to Khost, 350 people within Paktika, 910 people within Hilmand, 440 people from Kunar and Kunduz to Kabul, and about 690 people within and from Nangarhar and Kunar (OCHA, 27 Aug 2017). 

Amid new internal displacements, over 1,100 Afghans returned from Pakistan, and more than 8,600 Afghans returned from Iran between 20 and 26 August (IOM, 26 Aug 2017).

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central African Republic

Affected areas

Basse Kotto, Haut Kotto, Nana Mambere, Ombella-M’Poko, Ouaka, Ouham pende prefectures

Cause of displacement

Conflict, Disaster

Figures

As many as 13,000 new conflict displacements between 20 August and 1 September; about 100 secondary displacements between 1 and 3 September; about 2,700 new disaster displacements between 15 August and 28 August

Context

As many as 13,000 people were displaced by clashes or threats of violence or reprisals in the Central African Republic between 20 August and 3 September in four major displacement flows. The first, and largest, involved about 6,800 people who fled confrontations between armed groups in Kongbo in Basse Kotto prefecture from 24 August to 3 September and sought refuge in a Catholic church positioned close to the UN base (MINUSCA) (OCHA, 28 Aug 2017; OCHA, 3 Sept 2017; OCHA, 5 Sept 2017).  The second, about 2,400 people fled confrontations between armed groups around Bria, the capital of Haut Kotto, from 20 to 25 August and sheltered with host families or in an IDP settlement set up in a church (OCHA, 28 Aug 2017; OCHA, 3 Sept 2017; OCHA, 5 Sept 2017). The third involved about 1,500 people displaced from the villages of Kelle-Claire and Borodoul in Ouham Pende between 1 and 3 September due to rumours of planned attacks by the armed group ‘3R’. This included about 100 IDPs secondarily displaced after having arrived in the prefecture at an earlier time from Niem-Yelewa, Nana-Mambere Prefecture (OCHA, 3 Sept 2017). The fourth involved about 2,000 people, mainly women and children, who fled the surroundings of Koui in Ouham-Pende and the city of Niem in Nana-Mambere between 21 and 25 August, fearing reprisals by armed groups (OCHA, 28 Aug 2017; OCHA, 3 Sept 2017).

About 2,700 people were displaced between 15 August and 28 August due to heavy rain and flooding that caused housing damage in Bégoua commune, Ombella-M’Poko prefecture, and in Kouango, Ouaka prefecture (IFRC, 28 Aug 2017, on file with IDMC; OCHA, 20 Aug 2017). 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Affected areas

Kasaï, Kwango, Kwilu, South Kivu

Cause of displacement

Conflict

Figures

More than 49,000 new conflict displacements between 1 and 28 August; about 5,500 cross-border returns from Angola between 12 and 21 August

Context

More than 28,000 people fled the province of Kasaï to neighbouring provinces between 12 and 25 August because of ongoing violence and insecurity. Of these, as many as 26,000 of people fled towards Kwilu province and about 2,000 towards Kwango. In addition, about 5,500 Congolese returnees were identified in villages in Kasai province between 12 and 21 August having returned from neighbouring Angola (OCHA, 25 Aug 2017). Violence has surged over the past several months in the greater region of Kasaï (Grand Kasaï), leaving civilians with no choice but to flee clashes between local militia groups and military and police forces associated with the government (OCHA, 25 Aug 2017).

More than 21,000 people were displaced by conflict and hostilities in the province of South Kivu between 12 and 28 August in three major displacement flows. The first included more than 2,600 people who fled inter-ethnic hostilities in Uvira territory between 12 and 24 August (OCHA, 24 Aug 2017). The second involved more than 13,000 people who left their villages in Shabunda territory and fled into the forest between 18 and 24 August after the arrival of government forces in the area to counter rebels from the Force Populaires pour la Paix group (OCHA, 24 Aug 2017). While many IDPs had returned by 25 August, about 3,600 people remained in forest encampments overnight as of 28 August for fear of violence (OCHA, 28 Aug 2017). Finally, about 5,500 people were displaced in Fizi territory between 1 and 28 August due to the threat of violence following the advancement of rebel groups (OCHA, 28 Aug 2017). Pendular movements are common in the province of South Kivu, where the rise and fall of hostilities force people back and forth from hiding places in the bush.

Sudan

Affected areas

Gezira, North Dafur, South Dafur and Sennar states

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

About 1,000 new disaster displacements; and 2,400 secondary displacements between 20 August and 1 September

Context

As many as 2,400 people were secondarily displaced between 20 and 24 August after flooding washed away or partially destroyed housing in Zamzam IDP camp in North Darfur and Otash IDP camp in South Darfur (OCHA, 27 Aug 2017Radio Dabanga, 23 Aug 2017).  About 560 people were displaced within the locality of Um El Gura, Gezira state between 24 and 25 August after floods in the area destroyed more than 100 houses. Those that lost their homes took shelter in a local school (Radio Dabanga, 29 Aug 2017). A further 440 people (80 households) were displaced between 1 and 4 September by riverine floods in Singa, Sennar state (Radio Dabanga, 4 Sept 2017).

Uganda

Affected areas

Northern and Eastern regions

Cause of displacement

Disaster

Figures

More than 2,200 new disaster displacements between 22 and 27 August

Context


More than 2,000 people were displaced after heavy rains between 22 and 24 August caused the Unyama stream to burst its bank, destroying homes around Elegu border market in Amuru district, Northern Uganda (New Vision, 24 Aug 2017).  About 200 people were displaced from three villages hit by landslides in Bududa district, Eastern Uganda, between 23 and 29 August (East African, 29 Aug 2017). 

Notes For the purposes of this update, refugee and IDP returns do not imply the achievement of a durable solution. The terminology, names and designations used in this update and the material in links do not imply any opinion on the part of IDMC.
Displacement figures reported here are indicative only and have been rounded to the nearest 10 (if the figure is less than 999), 100 (if the figure is less than 10,000) or 1,000 (if the figure is 10,000 or larger).
The IDU gives priority to displacement flows that occurred or were reported in stated period. However, due to reliance on third party sources, certain entries may include information that refers to an earlier reporting period. For the purposes of this update, refugee and IDP returns do not imply the achievement of a durable solution. For IDMC-validated and peer-reviewed figures, read our Global Report on Internal Displacement.