Internally Displaced Persons and Host Communities: The Limits of Hospitality?
Most of the world’s 27 million people who have been internally displaced by conflict do not live in camps; rather they live with family members or friends or are dispersed within communities. One frequently overlooked aspect of displacement is the impact of internally displaced persons (IDPs) on the communities which host them—communities which are often poor and marginalized themselves.
On March 22, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) hosted a discussion of two recent reports on IDP and host community relations: “Can You Be an IDP for Twenty Years? A Comparative Field Study on the Protection Needs and Attitudes Toward Displacement Among IDPs and Host Communities in Azerbaijan” and “The Effects of Internal Displacement on Host Communities: A Case Study of Suba and Ciudad Bolívar Localities in Bogotá, Colombia.” Panelists included Chaloka Beyani, United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons and co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, and Roberto Vidal, professor of law at Pontifica Universidad Javierana in Bogota, Colombia. Mary Werntz, head of delegation at the ICRC, provided introductory remarks. Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, moderated the discussion.
After the program, the panelists took audience questions.
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"You have to play the long game. It’s fine to add money, but when the commitment is volatile and your funding goes up and down constantly, you can end up creating more harm than good."