Integrating Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) – More than a Logistical Challenge
The United Nations (UNHCR) estimates that almost 2.59 million Afghans have been displaced by conflict, natural disasters or a lack of economic prospects.
In Afghanistan, IDPs’ access to a supply of goods and services is often precarious. Basic needs such as adequate safe water cannot always be met. Many IDPs are housed in makeshift accommodation and have few defences against the harsh climate, especially in winter. Food and water are scarce, and access to sanitation, education and medical care is inadequate. Furthermore, conflicts frequently erupt between host communities and IDPs over access to water and farmland.
The National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons adopted by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations (MoRR) is intended to alleviate the situation. However, additional training is required to enable Ministry staff to implement the policy effectively.
Based on the principle of help towards self-help, the German Government is assisting Afghan Government agencies and civil society organisations with the local integration of IDPs, thus empowering them to earn their own living once more. The project also aims to improve IDPs’ living conditions.
Measures & Results
With training, Afghan ministry employees have learned how to boost their efficiency and improve their problem-solving skills. Data collection has enabled them to identify which specific measures are needed to provide targeted support for IDPs facing particular hardship.
Examples of support measures which have already been implemented and are greatly improving conditions for IDPs include the construction of 95 new drinking water wells, 344 temporary accommodation units for at-risk families, training (basic and advanced) for 8,400 people, workshops on conflict management and preventive hygiene for IDPs and basic literacy and numeracy courses for a total of 1,640 people.
The training is delivered by Afghan non-governmental organisations and is adapted to local circumstances. All these measures assist Afghan IDPs to regain their independence and take control of their lives.