UNDP reports over 6.5 million people in Afghanistan are internally displaced

A displaced families’ camp in east of Kabul. 2022. File photo.

Afghanistan currently has a staggering 6.55 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), making it the country with the second highest tally worldwide after Syria.

According to the UN Development Program’s latest report, “Institutional Strategy on Development Solutions to Internal Displacement, 2023”, over 4.39 million people are internally displaced as a result of conflict and violence as of 31 December 2022, while a further 2,16 million people are displaced due to disasters in the country.

UNDP said worldwide, record numbers of people have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence and disasters while remaining in their own countries. In fact, by the end of last year there were 71.1 million people internally displaced worldwide. Of this, 62.5 million were displaced as a
result of conflict and violence and 8.7 million as a result of disasters.

These numbers include the 5.9 million people internally displaced in Ukraine at the end of 2022. However, they do not yet consider the rise in the number of IDPs as a result of the ongoing conflict in Sudan, the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, and other developments in 2023, the report read.

The agency warned however that over the next 30 years, millions more are predicted to be uprooted by increasing extreme weather events and environmental degradation.

However, the UNDP said its new Institutional Strategy on Development Solutions to Internal Displacement will assist countries in their efforts to effectively address internal displacement through nationally owned development solutions; recognize that internally displaced persons (IDPs) are citizens with rights rather than just people in need; and to repair the social contract between an affected population and its government.

The strategy outlines UNDP’s approach through people-centered interventions that increase displacement affected communities’ agency and opportunities, strengthen resilience and capacities and help to lay the foundations for sustainable recovery, and towards transformative – greener, more inclusive and equitable – sustainable development pathways.