What the global IDP community needs

Internally Displaced Persons fall under some specifically complicated circumstances.

As victims of similar situations as refugees, they face the same dangers, however as they have not left their country, are sometimes not awarded the same international attention as other groups of internationally displaced persons. IDPs remain under the protection or control of their own government, although it is this same government that can be the vary cause of their being ousted from their original homes or regions.

Every individual group of IDPs have specific needs and circumstances, and different relations with their government and social services, but should we choose to generalize, they are in need of these few basic, although essential, provisions:

Housing: First and for most, these families and individuals are in need of a place to live. Affordable long term housing as well as short term refuge to reorganize and rebuild.

Education: Violence, natural disasters, and social unrest rarely comply with normal school seasons and schedules, and children are unceremoniously taken away from their normal educational routine. IDPs need teachers who are capable and flexible enough to pick up wherever the kids have left off.

Technical training: Internally displaced adults are usually fleeing their usual occupations in order to sustain their safety, and their existing skills may not be applicable in their new environment. For example, what on earth is a farmer going to do in the middle of Mexico City? Therefore, it’s frequently necessary for working people to learn a new, relevant skill for their environment.

Social and familial rehabilitation: Be it something along the lines of PTSD, unrest, anxiety, and psychological support needs to be made available. Depending on the reason for their displacement, and the region they call home, extremely damaging or disturbing things may have taken place causing or as a result of whatever caused the family to flee. Circumstantial, as always, but almost consistently trauma results, and will grow to an even more serious problem if not dealt with timely and properly.

It’s easy too look far away when we thing ‘refugee’, to a place distant and really sometimes unimaginable, but remember that every country has their own type of displacement. It’s not just the war-torn areas; it’s also the area with gang violence and unemployment, with poor witness protection, and lack of victim advocacy. Not just underdeveloped countries, but also overdeveloped, without the adequate individual interest of the government.

Also something to keep in mind is that many of the agencies aiding these families operate under a little bit of secrecy, because many are escaping forces capable of research.

Most agencies operate on a smaller scale for these internally displaced families, because frequently a certain level of privacy and secrecy is necessary, as such, connecting with said organizations is a little tricky. The UNHCR, United Nations Refugee Agency, is a really great resource to go through in order to get involved, and has a few suggestions as to how to help:

http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c344.html.

Count your blessings, and then spread ‘em around.

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