Integration of internally displaced persons in Afghanistan
Title: Integration of internally displaced people in Afghanistan
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations (MoRR)
Overall term: 2013 to 2019
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates the number of displaced people in Afghanistan as a result of conflicts to be more than 2.5 million. In addition, thousands of families are forced to leave their homes because of natural disasters or a lack of economic prospects.
Provision for internally displaced persons (IDPs) is often precarious, with the first two years after displacement proving particularly difficult. The state is barely able to secure basic supplies for IDPs. Conflicts over access to water and land rights often arise between the host communities and IDPs.
Displaced persons are housed in makeshift shelters, leaving them vulnerable and exposed to the ravages of the harsh climate, especially in winter. Both water and food are scarce, and access to sanitation, education and medical care is inadequate.
In order to improve the situation, the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR) has adopted a national strategy for IDPs.
The Afghan authorities are improving their skills, resources and capacity for supporting internally displaced families. Afghan civil society organisations are helping IDPs to integrate in their new communities. IDPs are increasingly making a living for themselves again.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office to support the Afghan Government with the integration of IDPs. GIZ collaborates closely with MoRR, its provincial directorates and the UNHCR refugee agency.
At national and regional level, measures geared towards building capacity and resources are being used to make MoRR more effective. 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 implement measures for improving basic infrastructure. These include temporary shelters, drinking water supply, sanitary facilities, community centres and sports grounds.
In close liaison with the responsible authorities, the issues of land rights and ownership are given primary consideration when planning construction measures. Measures of this kind benefit particularly disadvantaged households, which explicitly include all such households in the host communities, regardless of whether or not they are home to IDPs.
Measures tailored to their situation enable IDPs to return to their places of origin if they are keen to do so. The Afghan authorities are able to replicate successful models at other locations, taking responsibility for their wider roll-out.
The provincial directorates of the Ministry are responsible for the integration of IDPs. Staff attend training courses where they learn how to collect data and organise their work efficiently. With the support of GIZ, the directorates surveyed over 16,000 households and held group discussions with displaced persons and with representatives of host communities in order to document the need for support. This resulted in concrete measures which meet the needs of IDPs. All the stakeholders are involved in planning and implementing these measures.
Two schools have been built and are now attended by children from 2,750 families. 76 new wells and two water supply networks are improving access to clean drinking water for over 600 families. Some 450 temporary shelters have been built for particularly vulnerable families, replacing tents and caves. Prefabricated building materials (mainly window frames and door frames) have also been provided for the repair of around 730 houses.
2,000 people have participated in training courses to improve their basic life skills, their self-help capacities and their employment opportunities on the labour market in various areas, such as sewing, weaving and mudbrick construction. Training courses in conflict resolution, hygiene, literacy and basic numeracy have been attended by over 8,100 IDPs. All training courses were run by Afghan non-governmental organisations under the auspices of the project.
Overall, the measures are enabling more than 17,000 IDP families to gradually regain their independence and cope with the challenges of life.