Over 922,000 people were forced to flee their homes inside the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2016. This was the highest number of internal displacement due to conflict recorded globally, and was one of the most startling findings of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre’s global report which was launched in New York today.
“DRC’s largely forgotten crisis in central Africa superseded all other crises in terms of the number of people forced to flee their homes,” said Ulrika Blom, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Country Director in DRC. “Even Syria or Yemen’s brutal wars did not match the number of new people on the move in DRC last year.”
“Certain countries drop off the international agenda only to re-emerge a few years later with significant numbers of new displacements,” said Alexandra Bilak, Director of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). “This was the case for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which highlights how the failure to address the underlying causes of conflict and crisis results in cyclical patterns of displacement.”
· 2.2 million people are internally displaced, and over 550,000 people have fled the country as refugees.
· 7.3 million of DRC’s 92 million people are estimated to need humanitarian aid.
· 1 in 10 people in eastern DRC was displaced in the past decade.
· Life expectancy is only 58 years.
· On average 1 in 10 children die before their 5th birthday.
· DRC ranks 176 of 188 on the world’s human development index.
· DRC is among the last 10 per cent of the least developed countries in the world, according to United Nations Development Programme.
NRC and IDMC