Message from the Director
Last year was another significant year for internal displacement caused by armed conflict, generalised violence and weather-related disasters across the world. New displacement by conflict and disaster was recorded in every region of the world, with staggeringly high numbers of people displaced in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, India, China and the Philippines. As the result of new and protracted displacement caused by long-running internal conflicts, the total number of conflict IDPs reached 38 million in 2014. Hundreds of thousands more lived in protracted displacement following disasters for periods ranging between one and 26 years.
2015 marked a new turning point for IDMC. We expanded the scope of our monitoring beyond conflicts and disasters to cover the impacts of organised criminal violence and development projects such as dam construction, resource extraction, urban renewal and mega sporting events. With this expansion we aim to provide a more comprehensive picture of internal displacement, of the overlaps between different drivers and of the many data and knowledge gaps that remain. Identifying and quantifying the scale of these phenomena will no doubt reveal an ever growing and complex picture of displacement.
Raising awareness of the nature and dynamics of internal displacement in all its forms is key to helping policy-makers and practitioners target limited resources to where they are most needed. It is particularly important to provide insights into displacement as a multi-dimensional and cross-cutting issue of direct relevance to other global challenges, from humanitarian action and peace building, to disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and sustainable development.
IDMC’s policy work continues to contribute to a wider acknowledgement of displacement as a cross-cutting challenge, and promotes the recognition that internal displacement is rarely the outcome of a single factor or event, but comes about from multiple and overlapping factors that need to be understood for appropriate and durable solutions to be found.
Working with key partners such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), we were proud to influence the key displacement-related decisions that came out of 2015’s landmark policy events. These included the UN Sustainable Development Summit, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Nansen Initiative’s global consultations on the protection of people displaced across borders, and the COP21 climate change summit.
These policy frameworks provide important entry points for addressing internal displacement in a more comprehensive and joined-up way. For this to happen, a solid global baseline and frequently updated quantitative and qualitative data are needed to inform and monitor these processes each step of the way. This includes building a better knowledge base on IDPs’ profiles, locations and movements, the conditions in which they live, and the vulnerabilities they may have as a result of their displacement.
Several significant steps were taken in this direction in 2015, including a plan for the development of an online database which will facilitate IDMC’s users’ access to displacement data and analysis and will provide the most-up-to-date country-level estimates on internal displacement, disaggregated by location and profile.
We are happy to present our Annual Report 2015 which looks back to our achievements and successes but also considers some of the strategic objectives ahead for IDMC. We would like to thank you all for the support you have given us over the years, and for your encouragement at this crucial time for displacement, migration and refugee issues globally.