Over 26 million displaced in home countries: Report

More than 26 million people are displaced inside their home countries around the world because of conflict, natural disaster or food shortages, a U.N.-sponsored report said on Thursday.

Over 26 million displaced in home countries: Report
It was the highest global total since 1993, the record year marked by large numbers of people fleeing conflicts after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

Three war-torn countries accounted for nearly half of the people uprooted in 52 countries at the end of last year - Sudan (5.8 million), Colombia (nearly 4 million) and Iraq (2.5 million), according to the annual report from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

"Despite being responsible for the well-being of citizens within their territory, many national governments in 2007 were still unwilling or unable to prevent people being forced from their homes," said NRC Secretary-General Elisabeth Rasmusson.

Continuing displacement in Iraq accounted for much of the increase since 2006, when the global total was some 24.5 million, according to the report by its Geneva-based internal displacement monitoring centre.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said that the internally displaced persons, known as IDPs, had to face "the unwillingness or inability" of some governments to provide them with adequate protection and assistance.

He said the growing numbers, including some 1.4 million in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 1 million in Somalia, highlighted the need for international solidarity in tackling the problem.

Rasmusson said IDPs faced very serious human rights abuses, especially the women and children among them.

Reuters
Last Mod: 17 Nisan 2008, 14:06
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