Photo: OCHA/Christophe Verhellen
Total number of IDPs, 31 December 2020 (IDMC)
Afghanistan adopted a National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons in 2014, which addresses displacement triggered by both conflict and disasters and includes provisions for durable solutions and prevention. The country also adopted the policy framework for returnees and IDPs in 2017, which outlines means by which social integration can be ensured.
Restoring Livelihoods for IDPs and Displacement-Affected Communities
The Support Afghanistan Livelihoods and Mobility (SALAM) project was set up by UNDP, ILO and UNHCR in 2016 following a request from the Government of Afghanistan for international support for an unanticipated return of some 3 million refugees from neighbouring Pakistan over a six-month period. Recognizing that Afghan returnees would face significant integration challenges, notably in re-establishing sustainable livelihoods, the three UN agencies joined together to develop an innovative project, led by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MOLSA), that sought to generate new employment and international labour migration opportunities even amidst ongoing crises and protracted conflict. The project included IDPs, host communities, women, youth and other vulnerable groups selected by UNHCR, recognizing the importance of inclusion in protracted conflict environments. Read more
Durable Solutions in the Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan
The protracted nature of the displacement crisis that has long engulfed Afghanistan has required increasing recognition that the support of the self-reliance of displaced persons is likely to be the only sustainable response. And the 2018-2021 Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan was one of the first to clearly recognise this, embedding durable solutions into the plan of action across a number of sectors and, by doing so, attempting to knit together the humanitarian-development nexus. With regards to urban response approaches, the response Plan articulates: “A more joined-up humanitarian-development approach to this urban caseload is needed to build people’s resilience and move people out of acute need and onto the road to recovery. In informal settlements in particular, the Government and development partners are better positioned to provide the durable solutions required in an urban setting, particularly in terms of supporting access to basic services such as housing, water and sanitation and accelerated access to secure land tenure.” Read more
An area-based approach to mitigate displacement and build resilient communities
UNHCR’s Community-based Protection and Solutions Programme Response (Co-PROSPER) in Priority Areas of Return and Reintegration (PARRs) is an area-based response to forced displacement aimed at mitigating displacement and building resilient communities. PARRs include 55 areas of high return and displacement – 50 districts (11,000 communities) in 32 provinces and 5 major cities (Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat, and Mazar-e-Sharif). The total population in 55 PARRs is 19 million (6 million forcibly displaced and 13 million host communities) – nearly 48% of the total population of 40.1 million. Out of over 6 million forcibly displaced persons in the PARRs, 2.78 million are conflict-induced IDPs including 500,000 IDPs displaced in 2021 and 170,000 IDPs who returned to their places of origin, 3.22 are refugee returnees, 200,000 are climate change-induced IDPs, and 72,000 refugees. The interventions are evidence-based and are informed by Socioeconomic Vulnerability Analysis (SEVA), Market Systems Analysis (MSA), and Hazard Vulnerability and Risk Analysis (HVRA), to systematically outline the location-specific reintegration resilience plan with immediate, short, medium, and long-term actions. Key areas of focus in the PARRs include improving access to essential services, protecting and promoting livelihoods to help stabilize populations and creating a conducive protection environment and conditions for sustainable reintegration through multisectoral interventions.