Internally Displaced in IGAD Region Tops Eight Million, Reports IOM

By Staff Reporter
 
Maureen-Achieng-IOMOctober 8, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region has hit over eight million during the first half year of 2019, the IOM announced.
 
The regional bloc, in its consultative meeting which is underway in Addis Ababa, disclosed that the IDPs, which represent one fifth of the global population of internally displaced persons, are facing critical humanitarian, protection and reintegration needs.

In her opening remark at the meeting, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia Maureen Achieng said “internal displacement has become a global and increasingly protracted phenomenon that requires concerted attention from the humanitarian and development actors.”

At the end of 2018, there were an estimated 41.3 million internally displaced people affected by conflict and violence and, during the same year, over 17.2 million people were estimated to have been displaced due to disaster.

Approximately 9.2 million IDPs resided in the IGAD region last year even though millions of other internal displaced people are not systematically accounted for or monitored.

IGAD’s ongoing meeting is expected to identify the current needs and challenges in supporting resilience, prevention of displacement, improving the protection of IDPs and achieving durable solutions to internal displacement in the IGAD region, including ratifying and implementing the Kampala Convention and other policy frameworks.

According to Achieng, over 8 million people remain internally displaced in East Africa, out of which 3.5 million refugees and asylum-seekers were hosted in the region due to conflict and climate events put together.

She added that over half of all population movements in the region were motivated by economic reasons.

Achieng said “it is critical to look beyond the sheer number of people displaced and appreciate the human aspects of forced displacement and the urgent need to find solutions that are sustainable and lasting.”

“Facilitating durable solutions requires from all stakeholders, including national authorities, humanitarian and development actors coming together to act in a coordinated manner to identify the appropriate responses and strategies,” she emphasized.

Swiss Ambassador to Ethiopia, Daniel Hunn, said many of the IDPs in the region remains displaced while those who managed to return, attempt to integrate and chose resettlement often face long lasting challenges to access their basic rights.

“Preventing displacement, protecting IDPs and achieving durable solutions for internal displacement remains a major global challenge, not just for IGAD region,” he pointed out.

Ambassador Hunn also stated that uncoordinated approach is hindering the implementation of coherent response measures to IDP needs and remains an area of concern.

The two-day Regional Consultative Process (RCP) will discuss various issues and exchange good practices on bringing a durable solution for the plight of IDPs in the region.

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