Global needs in 2024
UNHCR projects that the number of people who are internally displaced due to conflict and violence will reach almost 63 million in 2024.
Globally, the right to be protected from internal displacement continues to be undermined. Most situations where UNHCR works are in active conflict areas and characterized by recurrent violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, particularly against civilians. Drought, food insecurity and other climate-related disasters are increasing people’s vulnerability, disrupting their livelihoods and increasing displacement. UNHCR’s needs-based budget for the year includes almost $2 billion for IDP programmes. In Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan, the humanitarian situation will remain a driver of internal displacement. The number of people returning from internal displacement is expected to increase in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Ukraine and Yemen.
Tackling the challenge of internal displacement means advocating for and reinforcing the primary responsibility of States, including non-State parties to conflicts where relevant, to assist and protect people in accordance with international humanitarian law and human rights law. It also means that protection of internally displaced people is not a separate activity but rather the principle underlying UNHCR’s activities on the ground.
Global needs for IDP response in 2024
-7% vs 2023 current budget
How UNHCR will make a difference
In 2024 UNHCR expects to have IDP response operations underway in 36 countries, with an emphasis on protection and solutions, UNHCR’s areas of expertise and comparative advantage. It will combine this operational engagement with its leading role in the clusters of aid organizations working on camp coordination and camp management (CCCM), protection and shelter.
UNHCR will ensure the lead on protection advocacy either through the protection cluster or as a standalone agency. UNHCR will also continue its leading efforts in joint protection analysis, centrality of protection implementation, and Accountability to Affected People (AAP).
The approach brings UNHCR closer to the people who have been displaced, builds its credibility with cluster partners and strengthens relationships with governments, especially at the local level. Helping to meet critical humanitarian needs also builds the trust required for dialogue on sensitive protection issues. Delivery at the point of displacement remains the priority. UNHCR will continue to prioritize follow-up to the recommendations of the "Independent review of the implementation of the IASC protection policy" (2022), particularly those specifically related to the Global Protection Cluster (GPC), and the High Commissioner will continue to co-champion inter-agency efforts on centrality of protection.
UNHCR will raise awareness and promote the implementation of recently adopted IDP laws in countries such as Chad and Honduras, and will support reforms to strengthen the legislative and policy framework for protection and solutions for IDPs in countries such as Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ethiopia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria and Ukraine.
UNHCR will work to strengthen legal and policy analysis, which is key to unlocking development action, by adapting UNHCR’s rights mapping tool to include IDPs. To promote strategic litigation and judicial action for IDPs’ rights, it will develop a global manual on internal displacement for judicial actors and legal practitioners. In collaboration with the GPC, UNHCR will publish the annual “Global report on law and policy on internal displacement” to monitor and promote national and local action, building on UNHCR’s Global Database on Law and Policy on Internal Displacement and dedicated research on the implementation and impact of existing frameworks.
To enhance its legal interventions to protect the rights of internally displaced people, the Office will seek to make better use of the sets of rules and practices that international humanitarian law offers to mitigate the impact of armed conflicts on civilian populations. These rules also aim to prevent further displacement, notably through a more methodical approach to frontline negotiation. To achieve improved protection outcomes for IDPs, this endeavour entails strengthening collaborative partnership with the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation and other relevant partners.
As indicated in the High Commissioner’s Strategic Directions 2022-2026, UNHCR is developing an internal Strategic Action Plan to “Grow UNHCR’s engagement on responses and solutions for internally displaced people”. This plan will define strategies and actions for achieving measurable changes for IDPs, setting out a roadmap and milestones to monitor achievements. It will also identify barriers, opportunities, actions needed and funding requirements to promote IDP resilience and self-sufficiency.
UNHCR, the GPC and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons will continue to co-lead the IDP Protection Expert Group (IPEG) through 2024. Through targeted country support missions, as well as global advocacy, the IPEG aims to foster political will and national leadership, and to coordinate senior-level international support for protection responses. Together with IPEG and the Special Rapporteur, as well as other partners, UNHCR plans to facilitate State-to-State peer exchanges on internal displacement. This follows the success of the first Cross-Regional Forum on Implementing Laws and Policies on Internal Displacement.
UNHCR will expand its community-based work with local organizations, including those led by IDP women and people with disabilities. As part of its AAP commitments and efforts, UNHCR seeks innovative approaches to ensure that IDPs, and all forcibly displaced and stateless people, have non-discriminatory access to services and can participate in a meaningful way in decisions affecting their lives. The Office will also ensure a timely life-saving response for survivors and those at risk of gender-based violence.
To help people find a way out of their displacement, UNHCR will incorporate approaches and principles that open pathways to durable solutions in its coordination, advocacy and planning/programming efforts across the displacement spectrum. This will include activities to support return and local stay, as per the preference of the individual.
The Office is committed to implementing the UN Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement, which has three goals:
- to help IDPs find a durable solution to their displacement,
- better prevent new displacement crises from emerging,
- and ensure those facing displacement receive effective protection and assistance.
In 2023 UNHCR published its “Institutional plan on solutions to internal displacement”, which includes lending strong support to efforts by Resident Coordinators to develop country strategies for protection and solutions. As part of its commitments in support of the Action Agenda, UNHCR will field-test and finalize an IDP protection risk assessment tool in government-led solutions processes, to be used by Resident Coordinators and country teams.