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Independent review of the humanitarian response to internal displacement

Research reports

Written by Lewis Sida, Erin Mooney, Oliver Lough, Leen Fouad

Image credit:Emma Carter | ODI

Since the UN first highlighted the internal displacement crisis in 1992, numbers have tripled from 24 million to more than 71 million people. Forecasts now predict that up to 200 million people will be internally displaced by 2050.

Over the last two years, HPG has been working on an independent review, commissioned by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), of how the humanitarian system responds to internal displacement. Undertaken by an expert team involving Lewis Sida, Erin Mooney and Kevin Kennedy, along with the HPG team, the process included extensive data collection across six country case studies (Ethiopia, Nigeria, DRC, Mozambique, Honduras and Yemen), and consultation of 1500 IDPs.

The Review reveals that the humanitarian system does not respond well to internally displaced persons (IDP) crises. Fundamentally, it is:​

  • too slow to respond;​
  • not joined up, if and when it does respond;​
  • overlooking IDPs’ specific needs;​
  • focused more on internal processes than meaningfully engaging the people it aims to help; and​
  • too slow to help IDPs get their lives back on track.​

Our report sets out a series of practical and actionable recommendations to address these gaps, as well as centring IDPs at the heart of the response, making protection key and pushing as early as possible for solutions.

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