2014 totals for internally displaced people (IDP):
As of the end of 2013, sub-Saharan Africa had the largest total number of IDPs (12.5 million) followed by the Middle East and north Africa (9.1 million)
63% of all IDPs globally come from just five countries affected by conflict: Syria, Colombia, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan.
Around 8.2 million people were newly displaced in 2013, an increase by 24% compared with 2012.
78% of all those newly displaced in 2013 came from just five countries affected by conflict: Syria, DRC, the Central African Republic (CAR), Nigeria and Sudan.
The combined impact of conflict and natural hazards
A natural hazard often forces IDPs to flee again, either from places where they had taken refuge from conflict, or from places to which they had returned or relocated.
In the Philippines for example, those living in poorly equipped camps and makeshift shelters in central Mindanao were more exposed to flooding than their counterparts in the general population.
Natural hazards and environmental degradation can also create tensions over scarce resources.
In Nigeria, for example, deforestation, desertification and recurrent floods reduced sustainable access to land and other natural resources and forced many to head south in search of pastures and arable land. This put them in direct competition with local communities, leading to increased insecurity and violence.
IDPs outside camps
In a large proportion of countries monitored by IDMC, IDPs were living outside camps, mostly in towns and cities.
This reality complicates protection and assistance due to significant information gaps concerning the number of IDPs, their specific vulnerabilities, needs, and living conditions.
Key challenges for IDPs outside of camps include security of tenure, substandard housing and living conditions, and the risk of increased vulnerability and marginalisation, especially in towns and cities where they can be exposed to forced evictions.
For example, Iraqi IDPs living in and around informal settlements in Baghdad are under constant threat of eviction, and similar concerns are faced by urban IDPs in countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Colombia.