IDP Initiative

IDP in a field.
Rebecca (centre), an internally displaced Congolese woman, works on farmland that is part of Evariste Mfaume's agricultural project in Lusenda.   © UNHCR/John Wessels

This page is designed to provide heightened visibility to UNHCR’s work with Internally Displaced People (IDPs) across the forced displacement spectrum.

UNHCR's policy on internal displacement

In September 2019, UNHCR released its updated Policy on UNHCR’s Engagement in Situations of Internal Displacement. The Policy and its Guidance Package reaffirm UNHCR’s organizational commitment to a decisive and predictable engagement in situations of internal displacement globally, including through strengthened operational delivery, emergency preparedness, coordination leadership and solutions for IDPs.

The Policy both requires and empowers UNHCR Representatives to proactively respond to internal displacement, including through over-arching protection leadership and tri-cluster coordination. Integrated programming, data and information management, resource mobilization and workforce management are among the core enablers designed to support UNHCR’s related IDP-Initiative 2020-2021, demonstrating a stepped-up IDP engagement.

Coordinated support to IDPs

This UNHCR ‘step-up’ in situations of internal displacement further complements ongoing efforts by the international community and national stakeholders to improve IDP’s daily lives – including through the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement and follow up of the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (GP20). Step-up activities are undertaken in coordination with partners, including governments and other responders under the Inter-Agency Coordination System, as well as the affected populations themselves.

UNHCR's work 

UNHCR’s work is further demonstrated through Quarterly Updates to the IDP-Initiative, which provide feedback from UNHCR country operations in their efforts to realize the commitments of the updated IDP Policy.

Further information is available on the specific operation pages on Global Focus – for the 33 IDP operations in which UNHCR is currently engaged, and notably for the nine target country operations of the IDP Initiative 2020-2021: AfghanistanBurkina FasoColombiathe Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)EthiopiaIraqSouth SudanSudan and Ukraine.

For more information on UNHCR policy and guidance on internal displacement, news and stories please refer to the page on internal displacement on UNHCR’s global website.

Main documents

Latest updates

UNHCR Submissions to the high-level panel on internal displacement