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A comparative study of donor and state policies and operational approaches to addressing forced displacement due to armed conflict in the Horn of Africa

The global population of forcibly displaced persons due to armed conflict is about 44 million, comprising about 15.2 million refugees and 28.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). About one third of these displaced are found in Africa consisting of 10.5 million IDPs and 2.7 million refugees. The Horn of Africa contains over half of those displaced in Africa, or about 8.2 million persons (2.1 million refugees and 6.1 million IDPs).

The protracted nature of forced displacement and its impact on host communities presents an opportune time to examine the comparative experience of donor and state policies and operational approaches to addressing forced displacement brought about by violence, insecurity, and flight. A downward spiral of risks facing refugees and IDPs such as landlessness, joblessness, homelessness, food insecurity, loss of access to property resources, increased morbidity, and community disarticulation have culminated in increased social marginalization and conflict when integrating into host communities.

The conventional displacement paradigm has focused on a humanitarian response. However, as the displacement experience has become more protracted, there is a growing need tofind durable solutions incorporating a development response. Such a response bridges relief and development, shifting attention to the social and economic impact on host communities. More sustainable development-oriented approaches have included: (1) addressing legal challenges especially citizenship rights; (2) economic rights and livelihood opportunities and; (3) social and cultural integration.

This proposed study will analyze donor and state experience and draw lessons from both humanitarian and development approaches seeking durable solutions to protracted displacement in the Horn of Africa. This work would focus on displaced persons social and economic integration into receptor communities, their return and reintegration into their countries-communities of origin, and/or resettlement into third countries.


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