BERLIN – A group that monitors the plight of people forced out of their homes by conflicts says the number of people displaced within their own countries surged to 38 million last year, with a few countries led by Iraq accounting for much of the increase.
The Geneva-based International Displacement Monitoring Center said the number of internally displaced people worldwide was 4.7 million higher than in 2013.
It said that 60 percent of newly displaced people were forced to move inside just five countries — Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, Congo and Nigeria. At least 2.2 million people fled their homes in Iraq last year as the extremist Islamic State group took over parts of the north.
The report is based on data from governments, U.N. agencies and aid groups.