The world’s neglecting vulnerable displaced people. Here’s where it’s worst | News


Every year, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) publishes its report on the world’s most neglected displacement crises. These are the countries where millions are displaced, exposed to violence, famine, disease, and dispossession.

Burkina Faso has topped the list for the second year in a row, followed by Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mali, Niger, Honduras, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Chad and Sudan.

“The utter neglect of displaced people has become the new normal,” said Jan Egeland, secretary-general of NRC, in a statement on the report.

“The local political and military elites disregard the suffering they cause, and the world is neither shocked nor compelled to act by stories of desperation and record-breaking statistics.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the displacement crises in these countries, ranked from most neglected.

What does being internally displaced mean?

An internally displaced person has been forced to run from their home with little to no belongings to seek shelter elsewhere in the same country.

Displaced people flee because they are scared for their lives, but there are usually practically no resources available to help them when they stop running.

This means inadequate shelters, tents, food, water, medicine, hygiene facilities for women and girls, toilets, showers, clothing, safety measures, comfort items, or means of communication with the outside world.

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso has become an epicentre of armed group violence in Africa’s central Sahel region since the late 2010s, with thousands killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Its government has struggled to address the country’s security challenges and the army took over in a coup in September 2022.

The violence killed more than 8,400 people last year, double the deaths the previous year, according to the NRC.

About two million civilians were trapped in 36 blockaded towns across the country by the end of 2023.

Cameroon

Cameroon’s violence is centred around the Francophone government’s suppression of Anglophone protests against marginalisation.

A separatist conflict erupted in 2016 when the government suppressed protests in the English-speaking northwest and southwest.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions since.

Escalating violence forced more than one million Cameroonians to flee, with 1.1 million people internally displaced by the end of 2023, the NRC says.

Alongside mounting internal pressure, Cameroon also hosted refugees from neighbouring countries, stretching the country to its limits.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The DRC has suffered armed violence for many years, with both the government and foreign actors providing the belligerents with weapons.

About 6.9 million people across the DRC were displaced by the end of last year, mostly in the eastern provinces.

Since an escalation of hostilities in March 2022, more than 1.6 million people have been driven from their homes in North Kivu in the east of the country.

Mali

The 2023 withdrawal of a 13,000-strong peacekeeping force led to increased clashes between the state’s military and non-state armed groups in northern Mali.

Mali faced the fight against armed groups on its own but it struggled, and people fled their homes in the thousands, seeking safety elsewhere.

More than 340,000 people were internally displaced as of December 2023, according to the NRC report.

Niger

As a result of a coup in July 2023, Niger lost Western political and financial support and broke ties with regional partners.

Increasing insecurity and non-state armed groups in the Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua and Tillabery regions pushed more than 335,000 people out of their homes.

The country also hosted 290,000 refugees and more than 35,000 asylum seekers who escaped conflict in neighbouring countries, the NRC says.

Honduras

In 2023, people in Honduras faced widespread violence, organised crime, together with climate shocks, deep-rooted poverty and hunger.

Almost a quarter of a million displaced individuals needed support with food, protection from violence, and other basic necessities.

South Sudan

South Sudan has seen various armed conflicts since 2013 when a political dispute between its president and vice president led to to violence between the forces loyal to them.

Economic decline, severe flooding, drought and a 2023 conflict in neighbouring Sudan exacerbated the situation and led to multiple cycles of displacement.

More than four million people have been forced to flee their homes, including 2.2 million who fled the country to become refugees.

Central African Republic

The CAR has been battered by violence since 2013 when mainly Seleka rebels removed then-President Francois Bozize, prompting reprisals from mostly Christian militias.

The NRC says although internal conflict has abated slightly, northeastern CAR was affected by the war in Sudan and insecurity in the border area.

One out of five Central Africans remained displaced within the country or became refugees abroad because of ongoing violence, according to the report.

 

Chad

After war erupted in Sudan, more than 600,000 people crossed into eastern Chad, fleeing ethnically driven attacks in West Darfur.

Before the crisis in question, Chad was already home to more than half a million refugees from neighbours like Cameroon, the CAR and Nigeria, as well as Sudan itself, the NRC says, adding that about 200,000 Chadians are also displaced within their own country.

Sudan

Thousands of people have been killed and millions have fled their homes in the war between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Defence Forces that erupted in April 2023.

The NRC says 1.4 million fled across the border, and more than eight million people were internally displaced, making Sudan the largest internal displacement crisis in the world.



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