What is internal displacement?
While a refugee crosses an international border to seek safety, an internally displaced person (IDP) has been forced to flee their home and finds refuge within the boundaries of his or her country.
A displaced family might flee their rural village to a nearby city, hoping for a better chance to survive. They might live in the middle of a country, incapable of crossing its vast interior. They might find themselves stranded at a closed international border, unable to cross.
Some flee violence – war, conflict or persecution. Others escape natural hazards, disasters or negative effects of climate change. Many flee both, a deadly combination that quells their chances of returning home.
Millions of people are internally displaced worldwide – and the numbers continue to grow. For the latest updates on IDP trends and figures, visit our Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).
Our work for the internally displaced
Be they in tented settlements or scattered across a big city, NRC works to bring safety and assistance to internally displaced people worldwide. Our teams reach some of the largest IDP populations in the world.
In 1998, we established IDMC and today, it is a global leader in monitoring, analysing and advocating for the protection of IDPs and those at risk of displacement.
Monitoring internal displacement is crucial to understand why and when families become displaced within their country. It helps us know whether they can return home quickly, or if they need to flee further – sometimes across international borders and beyond. IDMC's work contributes to a wider sense of possible patterns of migration and population movement.
Gaza ceasefire: statement by NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland
Statement by the Norwegian Refugee Council on the ceasefire announcement between Israel and the Palestinian armed groups.
Disasters contribute to record displacement
Last year, one person every second was forced to flee conflict or disaster. More than twice as many people are now displaced within their own country, compared to the number of people who have fled over the border as refugees. Extreme weather is increasingly a factor.
South Sudan: Fresh violence exacerbates famine threat
Escalating conflict in South Sudan’s Equatoria regions has led to the killing of civilians, forced thousands of people to flee and disrupted planting for farmers at a time when 60 per cent of the population is suffering from acute food insecurity. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is calling on all parties to the conflict to urgently resolve tensions and avoid accelerating the risk of famine.