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

This report applies the IDMC's original methodology to assess the economic impact of internal displacement in 2020 for 18 countries.

Internal displacement affects the wellbeing and the welfare of internally displaced people (IDPs) in numerous ways. It can lead to a deterioration of their health, security, social life, housing conditions, livelihoods, environment and education. People in the host community can also be affected, particularly in the case of mass, protracted displacement.

All of these impacts have repercussions not only on the lives of affected people, but also on the economy. IDMC developed an original methodology to measure the economic impact of internal displacement, including the direct cost of providing every IDP with support for housing, education, health and security, and their estimated loss of income.

KEY MESSAGES

  • The economic impact of internal displacement in 2020 ranged from $109 per IDP for a year of displacement in Afghanistan to $830 per IDP in Syria.
  • The average cost of providing each IDP with support for housing, education, health and security, and their loss of income for one year of displacement was estimated at $370 in 2020.
  • With about 55 million people living in internal displacement as a result of conflict, violence and disasters at the end of 2020, this produces a total global economic impact of nearly $20.5 billion.
  • Covid-19 influenced the cost of internal displacement by creating new needs, exacerbating existing vulnerabilities for IDPs and producing obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Click on read more to download the 2021 IDMC Cost Estimates Report (PDF, 3.2MB).

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