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UN: Displacement in Eastern Africa has hit 11.4 mln

02 December 2014, 08:16

Nairobi -  Some 11.4 million people had been displaced in 12 countries in eastern Africa as refugees or internally displaced persons, the UN humanitarian agency said in a report released on Monday.

The report released by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affair (OCHA) Eastern Africa says the displacement increased by 14 percent in the last six months to1.4 million people.

"This represents an increase of 1.36 million individuals since the end of March, when there were 10 million people displaced in the region (based on revised estimates)," OCHA said.

The biannual Regional Displaced Populations Report says the displacements took place in Burundi, (eastern) Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

"Of the total displaced population, 2.47 million are refugees while 8.97 million are internally displaced persons (IDPs) and people severely affected by conflict," OCHA said.

The four countries with the highest number of people internally displaced or severely affected by conflict are eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (2.7 million people), Somalia (1.1 million people), South Sudan (1.4 million people) and Sudan (2.9 million people).

The report highlights the status of displacement for both refugees and internally displaced persons in Eastern Africa between April 1 to Sept. 30.

The report says the biggest refugee influxes have been reported in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda mainly due to the South Sudan crisis.

Also read: Over 50 000 refugees reside in Nairobi

Kenya is home to an estimated over 600,000 refugees and the government and UNHCR have over the years facilitated the residence in urban areas of refugees with special protection needs including security, education, medical cases and those being processed for resettlement to third countries.

"Poor vulnerable communities and local authorities living in the border areas of South Sudan's neighboring countries are feeling the burden of hosting an increasing refugee caseload," OCHA said.

Protracted, ongoing and renewed conflict, civil insecurity and food insecurity have led to significant internal displacement and refugee outflows in the region," it said.

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- Xinhua


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