Economic impacts of displacement

This thematic series aims to measure the effects of internal displacement on the economic potential of IDPs, host communities and societies as a whole, bridging the knowledge gap through innovative research, partnerships with experts and consultations with policy stakeholders concerned with economic development.

Research agenda

Anecdotal evidence has repeatedly highlighted the links between displacement and low levels of socioeconomic development, and the need for governments to invest in preventive solutions if they want to ensure inclusive and sustainable development. More systematic, quantitative evidence is needed to demonstrate the short and longer-term economic impacts of internal displacement and generate the political will to address the phenomenon.

This thematic series aims to measure the effects of internal displacement on the economic potential of IDPs, host communities and societies as a whole, bridging the knowledge gap through innovative research, partnerships with experts and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines and consultations with policy stakeholders concerned with economic development.

Download the research agenda (PDF, 0.4MB) in French or Spanish. Click on read more for the English version.

Latest publication

Internal displacement can limit affected people’s ability to contribute to the economy and generate specific needs that must be paid for by IDPs, their hosts, their government or other aid providers. This report presents our first estimates of the financial impact of major displacement crises in eight countries: the Central African Republic, Haiti, Libya, the Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen. Using publicly available data and an original methodology, this report assesses the costs and losses associated with internal displacement’s most direct consequences on health, shelter, education, security and livelihoods.

Although they uncover only a fraction of the economic impacts of internal displacement, these estimates amount to a noticeable share of the countries’ GDP. Applied to the total number of IDPs recorded across the world as of 31st December 2017, the average impact per IDP would amount to nearly $13 billion each year. Though more research is needed to analyse more countries and account for more impacts, this report already points to the risk internal displacement represents, not only for security and human rights, but also for national development.

Research lead

Christelle Cazabat

We are always looking to strengthen and expand our existing partnerships. If you are interested in working with us on the economic impacts of displacement, please contact christelle.cazabat@idmc.ch.

Have a look at our other research areas here