Africa’s Population Displacement Reaches Record Levels in 2017

Africa’s humanitarian crises have continued to worsen in 2017. Displacement of Africans has reached twenty million, and 44 million are acutely food insecure.

Click here for PDFPopulation Displacement in Africa: Top 10 Countries

In 2017, Africa’s population displacement crisis reached record levels, with over 20 million Africans now officially registered as refugees, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. Actual figures are likely higher. A snapshot of Africa’s displaced populations reveals that:

  • Almost 75 percent of Africa’s 20 million displaced persons are from 5 countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. Each of these countries is experiencing serious conflict.
  • While global attention has focused on refugees, almost two-thirds of Africa’s dislocated population are internally displaced.
  • The number of internally displaced people—12.7 million—represents a 65 percent increase since 2013.
  • More than 44 million Africans are estimated to be at a crisis or emergency level of food insecurity. Parts of Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan are at risk of famine.
  • In the past year, 51 humanitarian workers have been killed in the Central African Republic, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan, impeding efforts to provide assistance.
  • Eight of the top 10 countries of origin for Africa’s displaced populations have autocratic governments.

Population Displacement in Africa pie chartRefugees countries of origin bar graph







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