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New analysis shows significant progress yet to be made on internal displacement around the world

15 December 2021, Geneva - With a record 55 million people uprooted within their countries by conflict or disasters and a deterioration in their living conditions, more needs to be done to address the causes of forced movement, according to a new report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

After another year of persistent conflicts, extreme weather and in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, IDMC’s new index tool shows that despite moderate progress in some areas, significant steps forward are still to be made. 

"Internal displacement is a complex phenomenon that cannot be assessed with numbers alone. The Internal Displacement Index allows us to identify shared challenges and promising practises, prioritise resources and ultimately achieve lasting solutions for displaced people,” said IDMC’s director, Alexandra Bilak. 

Relatively little progress was made in addressing the causes of displacement for the second year in a row in 2020. Worldwide instability, the effects of climate change and low levels of socioeconomic development are still responsible for generating the highest numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs).

“The increasingly protracted nature of conflict, the anticipated aggravating impacts of climate change and the yet to be seen consequences of the pandemic on people’s health, wellbeing and economic security mean that the main drivers of displacement will persist for some time to come,” said Bilak. 

There is hope, however, that modest improvements in the quality of data on displacement and the development of national policies to address the issue will translate into better outcomes for IDPs in the future.

The Internal Displacement Index (IDI) – the first and only tool available to comprehensively measure progress in addressing the phenomenon – combines information on its impacts, the context in which it happens and governments’ efforts to resolve it. Together, these indicators give a value that helps to identify severe cases and gauge progress.

The IDI report shows that advances are not equally distributed around the world. Europe and Central Asia have the best results, followed by the Americas, East Asia and the Pacific, and South Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa regions have results below the global average. More than 27 million IDPs live in countries with IDI values below the average. 


Notes to editors
Download the Internal Displacement Index report here:   
Watch a short, animated explainer video:
Visit our interactive landing page to explore the data further: 

About IDMC: 
Every day, people flee conflict and disasters and become displaced inside their own countries. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre provides data and analysis and supports partners to identify and implement solutions to internal displacement. 

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