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UNHCR seeks $90 million for internal displacement operations

Briefing notes

UNHCR seeks $90 million for internal displacement operations

29 January 2008

UNHCR is asking donors to support more than $90 million in programmes aimed at assisting millions of internally displaced people during 2008. The appeal covers UNHCR's operations for internally displaced people (IDPs) in six African countries and one in South America - Central African Republic; Chad; Colombia; Côte d'Ivoire; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Liberia and Uganda.

Unlike refugees who cross international borders to flee violence and persecution, the internally displaced remain within their own countries. UNHCR has been helping the internally displaced for more than 30 years but has increased its role in recent years. We are now actively involved in some 25 IDP operations worldwide, including the latest response in Kenya. Today's appeal covers only a portion of those IDP operations. Our work with IDPs in Darfur, for example, is not included but will be the focus of an upcoming appeal.

In the countries covered in the appeal, UNHCR is working under the cluster approach, in which UN agencies collaborate with other international and non-governmental organizations to deliver humanitarian assistance. UNHCR leads clusters providing protection for IDPs and co-leads clusters on IDP camp management and emergency shelter.

The budget for programmes covered in the appeal total $90,532,906 - $23,596,400 for DRC; $15,871,200 for Chad; $18,719,715 for Colombia; $15,443,000 for Uganda; $10,861,623 for strengthening UNHCR capacity in Global Clusters; $2,997,916 for CAR; $1,973,052 for Liberia; and $1,070,000 for operations in Côte d'Ivoire.

At the end of 2007 there were 1.3 million IDPs in the DRC, with new displacements in North Kivu Province. In 2008, UNHCR will assist some 200,000 IDPs in up to 15 sites in DRC. In Chad, UNHCR will assist an estimated 180,000 IDPs.

In Colombia, decades of internal conflict have left up to 3 million people displaced and UNHCR plans to assist 470,000 of them during 2008. That will include giving identity documents to 100,000 Colombians and helping 50,000 displaced children to access the education system.

In Uganda, peace talks have raised expectations that up to 500,000 of the 1.3 million IDPs created by 20 years of war could go home in 2008. In CAR, where 212,000 IDPs have been forced from their homes, UNHCR intends to improve living conditions but a large-scale return home this year is unlikely.

Nearly $11 million requested by UNHCR in the appeal is to strengthen its capacity as it takes on growing responsibilities under the cluster approach, which is filling earlier gaps in international humanitarian responses.