A new start for internally displaced people

Project description

Title: Integration of internally displaced people in Afghanistan
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Afghanistan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations (MoRR)
Overall term: 2013 to 2016

Context
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates the number of refugees resulting from the conflict in Afghanistan to be more than 766,000. This is compounded by a growing number of people migrating because they are no longer able to secure livelihoods for themselves or their families in their places of origin, for instance due to climate change. Most of these people move to the peripheries of the largest cities where they increase the pressure on the already precarious social infrastructure. This is a source of great conflict with the resident population. The displaced people have limited prospects of earning independent livelihoods in urban areas as they do not possess the necessary knowledge and skills. They are also reluctant to return to their home regions as long as there has been no change in the conditions that led to their displacement.

The Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations (MoRR), which is responsible for the integration of internally displaced persons, has thus far been unable to adequately fulfil its responsibilities. It lacks the necessary competences and resources to implement the national strategy for the integration of internally displaced persons, which was passed at the end of 2013.

Objective
The capacities and resources needed by the Government of Afghanistan to support internally displaced families have been strengthened and its effectiveness in this area has increased. The livelihoods of selected internally displaced families, and their integration in their new places of residence in the provinces of Balkh, Kundus, Samangan, Baghlan and Jawzjan have improved.

Approach
On behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office, GIZ Afghanistan is supporting the implementation of the national strategy for the integration of internally displaced persons.

At the national and provincial levels, capacity building measures are being used to improve the effectiveness of the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations. In cooperation with the Ministry’s directorates in the provinces, the displaced persons and the people of the host communities, the project is working to identify and carry out measures to improve basic infrastructure. These include temporary shelters, a drinking water supply, sanitary installations, community centres and sports grounds.

When planning construction measures in close coordination with the relevant authorities, special efforts are made to take land rights and ownership into consideration. Above all, such measures benefit particularly disadvantaged households, which explicitly include disadvantaged people in the non-displaced host communities.

Needs-based training courses and basic education measures, focusing on topics such as reading and arithmetic skills, conflict resolution, hygiene, civic education and vocational skills, are used to improve the life skills of the target group, increasing their chances of earning a living for themselves.

Measures tailored to their specific situation enable internally displaced people to return to their places of origin if they are keen to do so. The Afghan authorities can now scale up the application of successful approaches on their own initiative in other locations.

Results
The needs of internally displaced people have been comprehensively surveyed to ensure that support measures are tailored to the actual requirements and interests of the target group. The results of 1,500 household questionnaires and 40 group discussions have been fed into the project planning process. Informal committees consisting of refugee representatives and members of the host communities are directly involved in this process and guide the implementation of the measures.

Some 72 new wells have improved access to clean drinking water. For particularly vulnerable families, 125 temporary shelters have been built to replace their accommodation in tents and caves. A new school building has increased access to education. Some 6,000 people have participated in training to improve their self-help capacities and potential employability on the labour market. All training courses were conducted by Afghan non-governmental organisations, under the direction of the project.

Contact

Frank Faiss
frank.faiss@giz.de