A record 59.1 million people were displaced within their homelands last year, 4 million more than in 2020, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Thursday.
For the past 15 years, most internal displacements were triggered by disasters, with annual numbers slightly higher than those related to conflict and violence.
Weather-related events such as floods, storms and cyclones resulted in some 23.7 million internal displacements in 2021, mainly in Asia Pacific.
With the expected impacts of climate change, and without ambitious climate action, numbers are likely to increase in the coming years, the IOM said.
Meanwhile, conflict and violence triggered 14.4 million internal displacements in 2021, a nearly 50 percent increase over the previous year.
The majority took place in Africa, particularly Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while Afghanistan and Myanmar saw unprecedented numbers of displacement.
Children and youth accounted for more than 40 percent of the total number of those internally displaced last year.