Economic impacts of displacement

This research area 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

IDMC published in March 2019 the first estimates of the economic impact of internal displacement at the global level, amounting to $13 billion per year of displacement. This report applies the same methodology to all sub-Saharan African countries affected by internal displacement for which data was available: Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. These new estimates place the total economic impact of internal displacement in sub-Saharan Africa at $4 billion in 2018, a significant burden for already struggling economies.

The figures presented in this report uncover just part of the hidden cost of internal displacement, but they amount to a noticeable share of each country’s GDP. Highlighting these financial consequences for IDPs, hosts and governments can inform better planning for prevention and response to internal displacement.

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