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ECOSOC HAS 2019 – Addressing internal displacement associated with disasters and conflict: Planning for the long haul

Geneva, Switzerland 25 June 2019 –  Disaster displacement will be discussed during the side-event of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Humanitarian Affairs Segment on Addressing internal displacement associated with disasters and conflict: Planning for the long haul.

Internal displacement remains a significant global phenomenon. Extreme weather events, such as floods, storms, wildfires and drought, continue to force millions of people from their homes every year, and as the impacts of climate change are expected to intensify both in scale and frequency, displacement driven by sudden and slow-onset disasters is expected to increase. Meanwhile, conflict and violence remain key drivers of internal displacement, also displacing millions of people annually. In some circumstances, conflict interacts with disasters or environmental degradation and vice versa. This can prevent the internally displaced from returning relatively quickly to their homes, force them to flee again, exacerbate tensions with other groups, and complicate the achievement of durable solutions

While displacement can affect all countries regardless of their levels of income or development, the risks and impact of disasters and conflict are often disproportionately borne by those countries and communities which already face significant development and humanitarian challenges. Having lost their homes, livelihoods and often more, internally displaced persons struggle to access their rights and can face particular vulnerabilities and discrimination. Their displacement can become protracted for numerous reasons, including prolonged conflict, slow recovery, inadequate national legal frameworks, a sole focus on humanitarian assistance, and lack of dedicated financial resources. The high costs associated with addressing the impacts of displacement could further undermine national development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Reducing the risk and impacts of disaster displacement while preventing and addressing the consequences of conflict displacement require governments and the humanitarian, development and peacebuilding sectors to work together more effectively to resolve protracted crises, support internally displaced persons to secure durable solutions, and invest in efforts to manage risk and build resilience in the long term. It is also important to understand the unique specificities of conflict and disaster displacement to ensure they are appropriately addressed. This side event will explore the parallels and distinctions between internal displacement caused by conflict and disasters as well as good practices, challenges and opportunities in addressing these complex issues.

This event will take place on Tuesday 25 June 2019, from 17:45 at 19:15, Room XXII, Palais des Nations, Geneva.

This event is convened under the auspices of the GP20 Plan of Action for Advancing Prevention, Protection and Solutions for IDPs with its co-chairs, OCHA and UNHCR, and Special Adviser, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs. It is organized by the GP20 Coordinator, OCHA and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). GP20 Plan of Action partners and the Platform on Disaster Displacement are co-sponsors of this event.

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