Internally Displaced People

Internally displaced people, or IDP, are among the world’s most vulnerable people. Unlike refugees, IDP have not crossed an international border to find sanctuary but have remained inside their home countries.

Children relax outside their home in Baba Amr, Homs, Syria. Some services are slowly returning to Baba Amr after the area was largely destroyed during the fighting. Twelve out of 36 neighbourhoods in the city of Homs (140 kilometres north of Damascus) are now in desperate need of reconstruction. One of them is Baba Amr, where the clashes in Homs first started in 2012. Four years on the area still resembles a ghost town. Only 3,000 of the area’s 80,000 residents have returned, most living in damaged and half destroyed homes. The returnees are joined by just over 200 displaced families from other parts of Syria, who have found shelter in this battered neighbourhood. Having all been displaced at least once, the displaced and returnees are now collaborating to reclaim Baba Amr. There are 6.6 million people displaced inside Syria and UNHCR and its partners work to bring assistance to as many as they can. ; Homs has been witness to some of the worst fighting of the Syrian conflict and the Old City district now lies in ruins. An estimated 2000-3000 people have returned to old city of Homs after years of displacement.

Even if they have fled for similar reasons as refugees (armed conflict, generalized violence, human rights violations), IDP legally remain under the protection of their own government. As citizens, they retain all of their rights and protection under both human rights and international humanitarian law.

There are 6.5 million people, including 2.8 million children, displaced within Syria, the biggest internally displaced population in the World. Since 2011, 50 Syrian families have been displaced every hour of every day. The pace of displacement remains relentless. Well over 1.2 million people have been displaced so far this year, many for the second or third time.

UNHCR’s to support IDPs in Syria started in 2012. UNHCR’s support includes the provision of protection and community services, distribution of core relief items, shelter assistance, healthcare services, and educational support.

In 2016, Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) has been developed in consultation with the Government of Syria and sets out the framework within which the humanitarian community will respond to large-scale humanitarian and protection needs in Syria throughout 2016 on the basis of the prioritisation undertaken within and across sectors.

The HRP also presents urgent funding requirements to meet the ever-growing needs. The plan is based on ample data on needs. It is anchored by three strategic objectives, focusing on saving lives and alleviating suffering, enhancing protection and building resilience.