22 December 2011 |

Durable solutions remain elusive for many IDPs while thousands are newly displaced by military operations in Papua

During 2011, thousands of people were displaced by renewed inter-communal violence in Maluku province and by counter-insurgency operations targeting Free Papua Movement (OPM) rebels in Papua province. Between April and December, an unknown number of Papuans were displaced in the central highlands region of Puncak Jaya. The largest reported displacement took place in mid-December in Paniai regency, where more than 10,000 people were forced from their homes in more than a hundred different villages. In September, as many as 500 homes in Maluku’s capital of Ambon were set on fire and nearly 5,000 people were displaced, some of them losing their homes for the fourth time in 12 years. 

There are no reliable figures for the current number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Indonesia, but it is believed the total could be as high as 180,000. This figure includes those who fled their homes during 2011 and have been unable to return, and those among the estimated 2 million people displaced between 1997 and 2004 who have failed to achieve a durable solution by integrating locally or settling elsewhere. Tens of thousands of IDPs have been unable to exercise their basic rights to the same extent as the general population, and the help they have received has not enabled them to overcome their displacement. They face economic, social and political segregation, and their difficulties in asserting ownership or tenancy over land and property have not been addressed. 

The government has provided relief assistance to those displaced in Maluku during 2011 and has committed to rebuilding their homes, but in Papua humanitarian concerns have been overridden by military objectives. IDPs there are more likely to be considered potential OPM members or sympathisers than victims in need of assistance and protection. Severe restrictions in access to areas affected by displacement have made it difficult to assess needs and provide help. After the government wound up its IDP strategy in 2004, people displaced by conflict were no longer recognised as a vulnerable group deserving specific attention. In cooperation with the international community, the government has continued to provide help to some, but this has been through programmes that aim to address both their needs and those of their host communities.


More than 1.4 million people were displaced throughout Indonesia between 1997 and 2002. They fled violence between ethnic and religious groups competing for resources and influence against a backdrop of economic recession and the end of President Suharto’s “New Order”, a 32-year period of centralised and military-dominated government. Some 600,000 people were also displaced by separatist conflict in Aceh province between 1999 and 2004, and since 2001 tens of thousands more have been forced from their homes by military operations in Papua in the country’s only current armed conflict. 

Most of Indonesia's conflicts and displacement can be traced back to Suharto's transmigration programme. The stated purpose of this policy was to foster national integration by reducing poverty in overcrowded areas, and to provide a workforce in more isolated areas rich in natural resources. The process, however, combined with other spontaneous economic migrations, led to new ethnic tensions between migrants and locals and increased disputes over land and resources. In the political vacuum created by Suharto’s resignation in 1998, local power struggles erupted into inter-communal conflict in Central Sulawesi and Maluku provinces and inter-ethnic violence in Central and West Kalimantan provinces. 

Separatist struggles in Aceh and Papua were rooted in poverty and the local population's perception that they were being exploited by elites closely linked to the central government. The transmigration programme also played a role in both conflicts. In Aceh, the arrival of up to 160,000 ethnic Javanese between 1974 and 1998 fuelled resentment as the migrants were thought to have got the best jobs (UNDP, 2005, p.9). The arrival in Papua of 750,000 settlers from Java and Sulawesi created tensions along ethnic and religious and lines and similarly inflamed discontent among the local population (WPAT, September 2007).

IDP figures

There are no reliable estimates of the number of people currently displaced by conflict in Indonesia. Since 2004, the government and local authorities responsible for helping internally displaced people (IDPs) have failed to systematically monitor their situation or assess their achievement of durable solutions. In 2005, the last year data on IDPs was collected from all provinces, their number was put at 342,000 (NHRC, March 2005).Available data collected for this report, however, suggests that there could be as many as 180,000 IDPs who have been unable to return and continue to face barriers in accessing all of their rights. Most were displaced during the widespread conflicts between 1997 and 2004, but the estimate also includes people who have fled their homes during 2011, in particular in Maluku and Papua. 

In Aceh, some 146,000 people - most of them Javanese - had not returned, settled elsewhere or integrated locally as of 2010 (MSR, December 2009, p.28). Most of the estimated 200,000 IDPs who fled beyond the province between 1999 and 2004 had not returned as of 2005. More than half settled in neighbouring North Sumatra, where some are reported to have struggled to find durable solutions. 

Independent observers are not allowed access to the areas of Papua affected by displacement, so the number of IDPs in the province is unknown. Available information, however, suggests that military operations in the central highlands have led to significant displacement since 2009. During 2011, sweeping operations in Dogiyai, Paniai and Puncak Jaya regencies forced several thousand people to flee their homes (ABC, 6 December 2011; New Mathilda, 9 September 2011; WPMA, 20 April 2011). In mid-December, as many as 10,000 people fled a major military offensive against Free Papua Movement (OPM) rebels in Panai regency (AHRC, 15 December 2011). 

In September 2011, clashes between Muslims and Christians in Maluku’s capital of Ambon as displaced as many as 5,000 people (ICG, 4 October 2011, p.1, Mercy Corps, 22 October 2011). Some 1,500 people are still living in temporary shelters and waiting for government help to rebuild their homes (Ambon Posko, 5 October 2011). In 2010, it was estimated that 30,000 people displaced between 1999 and 2004 in Maluku had failed to achieve durable solutions (Mercy Corps, 19 April 2010, p.4). At least 2,500 households were still living in temporary settlements on the islands of Ambon and Seram (Hivos, 2011). 

Estimates for the number of IDPs in West Timor - or displaced “new citizens” as the state now considers them having withdrawn both their IDP and refugee status - range from 2,500 to 20,000. The lower figure is for people living in “shelters” or emergency camps in Kupang regency (USDoS, 8 April 2011, p.20), while the higher is cited by the local NGO Timor Center for IDPs (CIS) for people living in “emergency barracks” or resettlement sites, where the government has moved the majority of those displaced since 2003 and who remain “without access to government assistance” (Jakarta Post, 10 December 2009). Stalled since 2001, return movements to East Timor have picked up again since 2009. There are no official figures as most returns have been arranged privately or with the help of local NGOs (ICG, 18 April 2011, p.9). 

It is believed that several thousands of people are still displaced in Central Sulawesi, although there are no reliable estimates as data on IDPs has not been updated after 2006. That year, official data showed that close to 29,000 people had not returned home. More than half of them were living in Poso Pesisir sub-district (Kesbanglinmas, 23 February 2006). In 2009, the National Human Rights Commission believed that “several thousand people” remained displaced in Poso regency, often because of unresolved land and property disputes. In 2011, provincial government officials recognised that land and property issues affecting IDPs remained largely unresolved (Jakarta Post, 12 November 2011). Poso city, North Pamona, Lage and Poso Pesisir are believed to be some of the areas with the highest concentration of IDPs and returnees. Some also remain in Palu (Sarosa et al., May 2008, p.2). 

In Central Kalimantan, it is thought that most of the estimated 180,000 Madurese displaced by inter-ethnic violence in 2001 have managed to return. The number of those who have failed to do so is unknown. In West Kalimantan, the majority of the estimated 78,000 Madurese displaced in 1999 were not encouraged to return and tried instead to integrate in Pontianak, the province’s capital, or to make a living in the resettlement camps established outside the city. Although many struggled to do so, there are no reliable estimates of their number.

Current protection and assistance needs in Papua and Maluku 

IDPs in Papua’s central highlands, where Indonesian security forces have been conducting counter-insurgency operations against OPM rebels in recent years, face the most acute protection and assistance needs. The operations, which are often accompanied by widespread human rights violations, are a serious threat to their physical safety, and most IDPs receive no help either during or after displacement.The security forces have generally failed to clearly distinguish civilians from OPM combatants forcing many into hiding to avoid extrajudicial killings, torture, kidnapping, rape and other violations of their rights (RNZI, 15 June 2010; Chauvel, Richard, 2008, p. 170; RSC, September 2007, p.49). The largest displacements reported in Papua during 2011 were in December, and were caused a series of military operations. In mid-December, grenades, heavy artillery and aerial bombardments were reportedly used during an offensive in Paniai regency that destroyed homes in 26 villages. Some 500 people fled their homes in anticipation of the violence, and as many as 10,000 more were displaced from 130 villages during it (WPMA, 14 December 2011). Some sought refuge in the Enarotali area, where they were housed in a town hall. The majority, however, are likely to have gone into hiding in the forest. 

Once there, IDPs can be assumed to have little or no access to basic necessities of life, including food, shelter, water and health care. Those living in similar conditions after past waves of violence have faced malnutrition, disease and death. Those who have returned home - often only months after being displaced - received little or no support from the government (HRW, 5 July 2007, pp. 30-34). 

Clashes between Christians and Muslims in Maluku destroyed some 500 homes in September and left around 5,000 IDPs in need of assistance in temporary shelters in Ambon. The government provided immediate help, along with a number of NGOs including the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and Mercy Corps (JRS, 6 October 2011). Many IDPs, however, are still unable to return because their homes have been damaged or destroyed, or because of they don’t feel safe doing so despite government assurances (Mercy Corps, 22 October 2011). Tension in Ambon remain high, as illustrated by fresh violence in December between residents of two neighbourhoods in which dozens of people were injured and several homes damaged (Jakarta Post, 14 December 2011).

Durable solutions

The extent to which those who fled their homes between 1997 and 2004 continue to live as IDPs is unclear. Available information, however, suggests that by no means all have fully recovered from their displacement, in some cases more than ten years on. Commonly reported obstacles include difficulty in rebuilding livelihoods, unresolved land and property issues, poor social reintegration, lack of access to basic services and persistent psychological trauma. Almost all IDPs have become poorer as a result of their displacement. That said, a significant number have managed to return and rebuild their homes, often with help from the government or their local communities. Others have succeeded in establishing sustainable lives in other areas, but whether they have returned, integrated locally or settled elsewhere, for most IDPs recovery has been a long and gradual process.

Many returned to their homes in areas often hard-hit by conflict where the slow pace of reconstruction and limited assistance hampered their recovery. All civilians in such areas have suffered in this sense, but returnees have often been hardest hit. Many have been living in damaged homes in substandard conditions, with inadequate water and sanitation and only limited access to health care facilities. Some lost their property, land or fisheries altogether during the conflict, while others were not in a position to prove ownership when they returned, leaving them unable to re-establish their livelihoods. Even among those returnees who did manage to retain ownership, many could not restore their livelihoods quickly enough, the result of having been unable to look after their assets during their displacement. Instead they were forced to accept low-paid jobs to make ends meet, trapping them in poverty. 

For IDPs who have tried to settle elsewhere, the main obstacles to recovery have been their lack of land ownership or security of tenure. This has prevented them from establishing livelihoods or making improvements to their homes, while at the same time making them vulnerable to evictions. IDPs living on relocation sites tend to face the worst conditions in terms of access to potable water, sanitation, health care and education facilities. Many sites are in remote places far from markets, schools, medical services and job opportunities. The housing provided is of poor quality and has been poorly maintained, 

Some indication of the extent to which IDPs have achieved durable solutions can be gleaned by measuring longer-term safety, and access to livelihoods and effective reparation (IASC, April 2010, pp.27-42).

Safety and security

Security for themselves and for their families is often the determining factor for IDPs’ choices to return, integrate locally or settle elsewhere. In Aceh, many of the remaining Javanese IDPs, who make up the majority of those displaced both within beyond the province, still feared the presence of armed groups in their places or origin. They were also far less confident than the local Acehnese that the 2005 Helsinki agreement would bring about lasting peace (IOM, August 2008, pp. 24-25). Not all were safe though in their area of displacement either. In June 2011, security forces in Langkat regency, North Sumatra, used excessive force and firearms in their attempt to forcibly evict some 700 families who had been displaced from Aceh some ten years before. Police opened fire on protesting villagers, injuring nine people (AI, August 2011). The IDPs had been in a long-running dispute with the local government, who accused them of encroaching on the protected Leuser Mountain national park.

In many other provinces, including Maluku, North Maluku, Central Sulawesi, and West Kalimantan, IDPs have refused to return because of the trauma they experienced prior to or during their displacement, or because they feel the government is either unwilling or unable to guarantee their security (HD, 3 November 2009, p.8). IDPs in Central Sulawesi cited the trauma they experienced during the conflict as their reason for not returning. IDPs who did try to return often faced a hostile reception, particularly in areas where returnees were from an ethnic or religious minority. The government rarely based its return policies on security assessments in areas of origin. In North Sulawesi, where many IDPs from North Maluku had sought refuge, local authorities often gave little consideration to the security situation or the conflict dynamics in area of return. They were often eager to send as many IDPs as possible back as fast as possible and failed to consult with the authorities in areas or return, in particular when these were from a different province (Duncan, 2008, p.217). 

In 2006, seven years after ethnic violence broke out in West Kalimantan, Madurese IDPs were still unable to go back to the Sambas and Bengkayang regencies because of hostility from the Dayaks and Malays who have seized their property (UNDP & Bappenas, 2007, p.148). The murder of several Madurese IDPs who returned to Sambas to reclaim their property in 2002 prompted the provincial authorities to decide against a general policy of return.

Employment and livelihood opportunities

The lack of employment and livelihood opportunities is a major concern for all IDPs, whether they have returned, integrated locally or settled elsewhere. The majority were farmers, fishermen, labourers, vendors or ran small businesses before their displacement. Having lost their household and productive assets and accumulated significant debts, many returnees have been unable to afford to replace lost livestock and tools or to buy essential agricultural items such as seeds, pesticides and fertilisers. Help to restart their livelihoods has often been limited, meaning that many have had to find other sources of income as motorcycle taxi drivers or construction labourers. 

In Maluku, former IDPs' incomes remained lower than those of the local population more than five years after returning to their homes (Mercy Corps, 19 April 2010, p.1). Many were forced to take up low-paid employment rather than re-establishing their original livelihoods, leaving them with reduced income and social status. Some returnees in Poso reported a decline of up to 75 per cent in their pre-conflict earnings, mainly as a result of low productivity from land that had been neglected for four years (UNDP, 2 July 2004, p.10).. 

Hostility from former neighbours unwilling to give up advantages gained in the absence of the displaced and return to the pre-displacement situation often made IDPs’ search for livelihoods more difficult. In Central Kalimantan, where the influence of Dayaks and Malays on public policies and decisions grew as a result of the conflict and displacement, Madurese returnees were reportedly denied access to employment in the public sector on the basis of their ethnicity (Bouvier & Smith, 2008, p.246).

IDPs who have tried to resettle elsewhere or integrate locally have often faced even more difficult conditions as they struggle to adapt to new environments where they lack the skills or resources to make a living. They are also often stigmatised as outsiders. Poverty as a result of loss of assets and unemployment is the main problem faced by IDPs in camps in Central Sulawesi (Aragon, 2008, p.188), while many of those living outside camps get by as casual agricultural labourers. IDPs trying to integrate locally in Aceh have faced similar and serious challenges, particularly those in central highland regencies such as Bener Meriah and Aceh Tengah. Here most IDPs are Javanese transmigrants, who are resented by local communities as an additional burden on limited resources. They are also perceived as more likely to receive help from the government and international agencies (MSR, December 2009, p.111). 

In relocation camps, often situated far from urban centres, a lack of jobs and shortages of land are often reported as common problems. The situation has sometimes led to tension between IDPs and their host communities, who see them as competition for already scarce resources. This was the case in relocation camps in Maluku and in some areas of Central Sulawesi where large numbers of IDPs have settled, such as Tentena and Poso Lake, and where tensions have flared with host communities over scarce resources (Aragon, 2008, p.192). 

In West Timor, land ownership and access to alternative livelihood opportunities is reportedly very limited for “new citizens” living on resettlement sites. There is a shortage of land for sale, and many have long depleted their assets and are unable to buy what is available. Some IDPs attempted to secure their own land in the expectation that the government would meet some or all of the cost. In the absence of such support, many who bought land from local people on credit have been unable to pay off their debts (JRS, March 2011, p2). In a region of widespread poverty and unemployment, there has been constant friction between host communities and IDPs who have occupied locally-owned land and compete for jobs. Occasional clashes have been reported in recent years (ICG, 18 April 2011, p.7). Some IDPs have made a living by sharecropping - in which a landowner allows a tenant to use land in return for a share of the crops produced - while others have sold vegetables and livestock at local markets, or worked as labourers or taxi drivers.

Access to mechanisms to restore land, housing and property

In many areas, displacement has complicated land ownership issues and increased the potential for disputes. More than a decade after they fled, some IDPs are unable to return to their homes because of continued hostility from their former neighbours who have seized farmland and property and refuse to return it. In some areas, local authorities have failed to guarantee the property rights of the returnees, sometimes because they lacked the capacity to do so or because they thought it would disrupt the post-conflict balance. In many provinces land and property disputes have been resolved through private arrangements or have been addressed using traditional conflict resolution mechanisms often seen as more effective than the formal justice system.

In Central Sulawesi, police and local authorities failed to take measures to ensure that seized land and property was returned to the original owners, often for fear of reigniting the violence (Braithwaite et al., March 2010, p.260). Many returnees in Aceh have been unable to prove their ownership of their homes and livelihood resources (IOM, August 2008, p.28). A number of Acehnese IDPs returning to Gayo land in Central Aceh, where they are in a minority, have been unable to reclaim their land and property and have received little help from the local authorities. Some preferred not to report their land claims to the police because they were afraid of local militias who had allegedly beaten up one IDP representative (UNDP & Bappenas, 2007, pp.135-136).

In West Kalimantan, the lack of title deeds was a serious obstacle for IDPs to retrieve their property. Local officials have done little to help them obtain the necessary ownership documents, despite instructions from the central government to do so (Sukandar, June 2007, p.171). Others have been able to sell their land or businesses, in particular in the Sambas regency, albeit often at a reduced price, and have used the money to restart their lives elsewhere, though in reality it is unclear how many have genuinely been sold and how many forcibly seized. Similarly, many Javanese IDPs in North Sumatra who fled from Aceh have given up on the idea of return and sold their property in their places or origin (Shewfelt, Steve, August 2007, p.16).

National response

The Indonesian government has responded in radically different ways to internal displacement, depending on whether it was the result of conflict between the state and separatist groups, as in Papua and Aceh, or violence between ethnic or religious groups.

Papua and Aceh

In the case of the two separatist conflicts, the majority of IDPs fled military operations which did little to distinguish between insurgents and civilians. They have often been treated as potential suspects rather than victims of conflict in need of protection and assistance. In both Papua and Aceh, IDPs have never been fully recognised as such and did not receive help on a par with those displaced elsewhere between 1998 and 2004.In recent years, the government has severely restricted access to areas of Papua affected by displacement, making it difficult to assess IDPs' humanitarian needs and provide assistance. Most of the help IDPs receive is provided by host communities, church associations and sometimes local authorities, all of whom lack resources. In 2009, the head of Puncak Jaya regency criticised the security operations for putting too much strain on its budget, in part because of the cost of logistical support but also because funds were needed to help those displaced (ICG, 11 March 2010). 

Security forces see church and human rights groups as closely linked to OPM and in favour of separatism. As a result, they are frequently intimidated and harassed. In December 2011, the office of the Secretariat for Justice and Peace (SKP) in Eduda, part of the diocese of the capital, Jayapura, was burned down during a military offensive (WPAT, 14 December 2011). Security forces have at times tried to prevent assistance being delivered to IDPs, either by denying or playing down the consequences of military operations, or simply by taking it for themselves (Jakarta Post, 2 February 2007; The Age, 16 March 2005).

In the wake of the December 2004 tsunami, only those displaced by the natural disaster were considered by the government as IDPs and provided with assistance. Under a post-conflict assistance programme launched in 2006, IDPs were included along with other “victims of conflict” entitled to IDR10 million ($1,000) in compensation. Five years later, however, only some 2,500 IDPs - less than 0.5 per cent of the total number - had received the payment (MSR, December 2009, p.59). The response to IDPs' needs has also been hampered by the absence of a single agency to coordinate monitoring, a lack of cooperation between national and international agencies and government bureaucracy.

Post-conflict assistance efforts

The response of national and provincial governments to the internal displacement crisis that hit Indonesia between 1999 and 2004 made significant progress in terms of reconstruction and recovery, and enabled nearly all IDPs to return or to settle elsewhere in the country. After 2004, people displaced by conflict largely ceased to be recognised as a category deserving specific attention, despite the fact that large numbers were still in need of help. The government continued to provide assistance to some, mainly through programmes addressing both their needs as “vulnerable poor”, “former IDPs” (or “new citizens” in the case of West Timor), and those of their host communities. Such programmes ran at least until 2009. 

In most provinces the government prioritised return as a solution, and when that proved impossible, it usually moved the displaced to relocation sites. In many cases assistance was insufficient or provided very late and so failed to reach all IDPs. The lack of resources available to help IDPs in almost all provinces has been made worse by widespread corruption, unreliable data on the displaced as well as poor coordination and information sharing at various government levels and between the government and other stakeholders (HD, 30 June 2011, p. 31; Duncan, 2008, pp.216-217; UNDP & Bappenas, 2007, p.50). 

Post-conflict programmes have tended to focus on physical reconstruction and neglect issues such as peace-building, reconciliation and economic empowerment in affected communities. The effectiveness of the assistance has also been hampered by a lack of coordination between local authorities in the management of funds allocated to conflict recovery, and a lack of continuity between one programme and the next. In Maluku, many projects failed to achieve their objectives and were not monitored or followed up. Similarly, many existing programmes in Central Sulawesi have not been monitored, making it impossible to assess either their effectiveness or the needs of those affected (HD, 3 March 2010, p.4). 

As of 2011, claims for financial support by thousands of families displaced from Maluku, North Maluku and other provinces were still unresolved. In 2010, the Maluku provincial government and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) agreed to form an IDP data verification team to establish a final list of beneficiaries, but one year later the matter remained unresolved (Siwalima News, 18 June 2011; Antara, 26 November 2010). Representatives of West Timor's “new citizens” also continue to request that the government provide financial help to the estimated 15,000 families affected there (Jakarta Post, 21 May 2011; NTA, 25 July 2010).

Normative and institutional framework

In September 2001, the government implemented a national policy to address the problem of internal displacement. The policy did not, however, provide a normative framework for protecting IDPs' rights but instead aimed to “solve the IDP problem” by ending assistance and sending an estimated 1.4 million people back to their homes. By 2004 the government had rescinded IDP status in most regions in exchange for assistance or compensation, but an estimated 342,000 people were still displaced. Responsibility for them was gradually transferred to provincial and district authorities, many of which stopped assistance because of a lack of funding and capacity.

Since 2008, the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB), a non-departmental government body, has been in charge of disaster management and policy. It has long-term responsibility for people displaced by natural disasters and by “social conflicts”, while the Ministry of Social Affairs is responsible for providing relief during an emergency. The 2007 legislation that established the BNPB states that IDPs and communities affected by natural and human-made disaster are entitled to protection and the fulfilment of their rights “in a fair manner and complying with the minimum service standards” It foresees assistance and protection being provided not only during an emergency but in anticipation through the “mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into development programmes”, and after the event by ensuring “recovery from disaster impacts” (BNPB, 2009, p. 80).

International response

The international community worked closely with the Indonesian government and local authorities in several provinces to help deal with the displacement of some 1.4 million people at the height of the crisis in 2002. In some areas, however, such as Poso and Central Sulawesi, poor security limited the presence of international agencies. In others, such as Central and West Kalimantan, national and local authorities saw no need for the international community's involvement and even went so far as to discourage it (Davidson, 2008, p.76; MSF, 6 November 2008). 

After the government announced in 2004 that its internal displacement crisis brought about by conflict had been resolved, the attention of donors and international agencies switched to other emergencies, mostly linked to the many natural disasters the country has experienced. In 2005, attention focused almost entirely on Aceh and North Sumatra, where the largest humanitarian relief operation in history was deployed in response to the December 2004 tsunami, as well as on the Yogyakarta earthquake. 

Since 2005, the needs of Indonesia's remaining IDPs have mainly been addressed through community-level reintegration and development projects aimed at improving livelihoods and economic opportunities for the most vulnerable members of general population. 

In several provinces affected by conflict, the World Bank has supported the implementation of the Kecamatan Development Programme (KDP), which granted villages up to $110,000 to spend on projects identified collectively. Since 2005, the KDP has been complemented by another World Bank initiative, the nationwide Support for Poor and Disadvantaged Areas (SPADA) programme. Covering 40 regencies affected by conflict, it aims to strengthen governance, promote growth and improve service delivery. From 2005 to 2010, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ran Peace Through Development, a programme of conflict-sensitive reintegration and development projects in North Maluku, Maluku and Central Sulawesi. Between 2001 and 2008, UNDP also funded initiatives to provide legal support for disadvantaged people including IDPs.

More than 10 years after the start of Indonesia's displacement crisis, there are only a few international organisations still providing direct assistance to IDPs who fled conflict, mainly in Maluku, Central Sulawesi, Aceh and West Timor. 

With funding from the European Union's Aid to Uprooted People (AUP) programme, Mercy Corps and Hivos run projects to help IDPs in Maluku. In September 2011, Mercy Corps was one of the international agencies, together with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), which helped the government respond to the immediate needs of some 5,000 people displaced in Ambon. At the end of 2010, it launched a three-year follow-up initiative to the Maluku Economic Recovery Programme (MERP) I and II, which helped some 14,000 families on the islands of Ambon and Seram to return or relocate between 2006 and 2010. Also at the end of 2010, Hivos, in partnership with the local organisation Baileo, started a project entitled Resettlement and Integration of Vulnerable Displaced People in Maluku, aimed at supporting 500 displaced households living in temporary settlements on the islands of Ambon and Seram (Hivos, 2011). 

In addition to Maluku, JRS is also present in Aceh and West Timor where it has assisted IDPs since 2000. World Vision Austria is currently conducting a project in Central Sulawesi to help IDPs and host communities, in particular marginalised women and children, to integrate and develop livelihood opportunities. This work also receives funding from the EU’s AUP programme.