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Older people in displacement: falling through the cracks of emergency responses

Research reports

Written by Veronique Barbelet

As part of HelpAge International’s project on advancing the rights and protection of conflict-affected older South Sudanese migrants in Ethiopia, Uganda and South Sudan, HelpAge commissioned the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) to conduct a study on older South Sudanese displaced by conflict, both within South Sudan and across the border in Uganda and Ethiopia.

This study takes stock of the progress made and remaining challenges faced by those responding to forced displacement, both in addressing the specific needs of older people and harnessing their capacities. The study looks at how the role of older people changes during displacement and their specific vulnerabilities and coping strategies. For example, older women’s role as care-givers tends to increase during displacement, in parallel with a decreasing ability to contribute income and food to the household. 

The report examines how well the humanitarian response to displacement has included older people, and the role of legal and policy frameworks in ensuring their rights and protection, and makes key recommendations for humanitarian actors and donors to better include older people in humanitarian responses.

Veronique Barbelet