Democratic Republic of the Congo IDP Figures Analysis

As of 31 March 2015, IDMC estimates that there were 2,857,400 IDPs in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Orientale, Katanga, and Maniema.


Internal displacement in DRC reached a peak of 3,400,000 in 2008.

The source for the data collected is the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which compiles data from the Population Movement Commissions (CMP) and the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRMP) for data on IDPs in host communities and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for data on IDPs in sites. Figures are validated at provincial level by provincial CMPs in which territorial CMPs, INGOs, IOM and UNHCR participate. The government of the DRC does not currently have the resources and capacities to collect figures on internal displacement itself.

These figures provide only an indication of the scale of internal displacement in the different provinces, and there are a number of limitations to the data. Current UN figures include only those IDPs who were displaced since January 2009 (2008 for the two Uélé districts of Orientale). It is unclear whether the 1.4 million IDPs who were displaced at the end of 2008 are still living in displacement, whether they have achieved durable solutions or whether they have been displaced again since that time.

One of the main challenges is that data for movements, be it new displacements or returns, are often calculated as a difference between IDP figures in a given location between two different points in time. In addition, return figures are compiled for 18-month periods. The ongoing difficulty in tracking and assessing return, local integration and resettlement also means that such movements are not fully reflected in cumulative totals.

The above figure does not included IDPs displaced by natural disasters. Current figures tend to focus on conflict- and violence-induced displacement and to a lesser extent on that related to sudden-onset natural hazards. The effects of other drivers, including slow-onset natural hazards and development projects such as mining and the creation of national parks, are not systematically tracked at all. As a result, the scale of the displacement related to these phenomena remains unknown.

There is only limited data on displacement in urban areas such as Goma or Kinshasa, in terms of people who may be living as new or long-term IDPs, the scale of secondary displacement, and the vulnerabilities likely to result from the poor tenure security and poverty urban IDPs tend to experience.

IDMC uses only the most credible accurate information available. Notwithstanding the caveats and limitations of the source information described above, IDMC believes this to be the best data and is grateful to the partners for sharing it.