There is a lot of suffering due to conflicts in our world.
But how much?
Due to how many current wars and conflicts?
I didn’t know.
I went looking for answers.
In 2014, there were 47 ongoing wars and conflicts.
The oldest is the Kashmir conflict, which began in 1947.
The Kasaï-Central clashes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo made the list in 2016.
(To be on the list there needs to be at least one death in the last year and at least 100 cumulative.)
That brought the number in 2016 to 52.
13 had fewer than 100 deaths last year, yet are responsible for an estimated 795,000 cumulative deaths.
29 had between 100 – 999, and are responsible for est. 2,500,000 deaths.
10 had between 1,000 – 9,999, and are responsible for est. 890,000 deaths.
4 had between more than 10,000, and are responsible for 3,565,000 deaths.
How many total deaths in 2016? More than 151,000.
What is the cumulative number of deaths for current wars and conflicts? The estimate is 7,800,000.
Cumulatively, how many belligerent groups (those directly involved in war) are there,
and how many supporters (groups providing assistance to belligerents but not actively fighting) are there?
In 2015, there were 820 belligerent groups, and 260 supporters of wars and conflicts.
In addition to death, what are the effects of these ongoing wars and conflicts on populations? Many people become Refugees, Internally Displaced, Asylum Seekers, or Stateless.
How many? It is difficult to find accurate numbers for this. This should be no surprise, as these are the most vulnerable, fragile, and transient populations on the planet. They are in a continual state of flux, sometimes moving geographically and between categories.
Even organizations such as the United Nations Migration Agency, UN Refugee Agency, and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center — the organizations most likely to know — have conflicting information, sometimes differing by millions.
Internally Displaced People, 2015: 41,000,000+
Refugees/persons of concern in other countries, 2015: 49, 800,000+ (This includes people seeking Asylum)
Stateless, 2015: 5,000,000+.
How do these figures compare to years past? Let’s look at the category, Internally Displaced People.
In 2013, there were 27,000,000 IDPs. This increased to 38,000,000 in 2014, and 41,000,000 in 2015. 2016 was more turbulent than 2015.
IDPs have doubled in the last 10 years.
More than 32,000,000 are children.
Not all are from wars and conflicts: 19,000,000 are displaced due to natural disasters (although fragile populations in areas with ongoing conflicts are often part of this figure).
The number of people displaced by wars and conflicts rose from 37,500,000 in 2004 to 59,500,000 in 2014.
1 in 113 people worldwide are displaced from their homes.
These numbers are staggering. We live in a time when such populations have been increasing for years, to numbers not seen since World War II.
Due to political upheaval here and abroad, we are entering an era in which all of these numbers could continue to increase exponentially.
March 11, 2017
All artwork images copyright and courtesy of Dan Mills
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