Social Protection in Contexts of Fragility and Forced Displacement

Over 65 million individuals were estimated to have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalised violence, or other human rights violations in 2015, representing an increase of almost six million compared to the previous year. Humanitarian challenges of protracted fragility and conflict-related crises, and the more recent unprecedented refugee movement around the globe underscore the need to break down the barriers between humanitarian and development work. This is essential if the human rights and the wellbeing of children and families everywhere are to be realised.

Responsive long-term systems are needed to reach affected vulnerable populations consistently. Acute and extended crises have contributed to population flows which also highlight the need for long-term solutions in countries of destination.

The ‘International Conference on Social Protection in Contexts of Fragility and Forced Displacement’ shed new light on the prospects of using social protection systems in these contexts. It took place in the Brussels Square Meeting Centre on 28 and 29 September and was organised by UNICEF and the European Commission with several partners, among them GIZ and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The intention was to have a clear focus on improving the living conditions, livelihoods and social inclusion of affected populations, including children, refugees, internally displaced populations, which tend to be highly vulnerable and are often denied basic human rights.  With a view to work towards a humanitarian-development continuum, the conference also aimed to highlight the opportunity for humanitarian responses either to build on existing social protection systems or to help create them.

From GIZ, Andreas Proksch, Head of the ‘Sector and Global Programmes’ department, took part in the closing high level panel of the conference, which can be watched on YouTube. In addition, Günther Taube, Head of the Qudra programme, presented the initiative on supporting refugees and host communities in the countries bordering Syria to the audience.