COVID-19 — Impact on IDPs #1
This situation report reflects the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on IDPs for the week of 21 May 2020—28 May 2020.
People affected by humanitarian crises, particularly those displaced and living in communal settings, are often faced with challenges including vulnerabilities distinct from those of the general population. These vulnerabilities are further heightened by the disparate health and socio-economic impacts of COVID-19. As recently reported by IDMC, global figures of internally displaced persons (IDPs) reached an all-time high at the end of 2019. Conflict and disasters have triggered 33.4 million new internal displacements across 145 countries and territories in 2019. In particular, the number of new disaster related IDPs have increased to 24.9 million in 2019 (compared to 17.2 million in 2018). This is the highest figure recorded since 2012 and three times the number of new displacements caused by conflict and violence.
The movement restrictions and measures being imposed by countries, territories and areas as a response to the pandemic are directly impacting the daily lives and circumstances of IDPs and host communities. Livelihoods are being interrupted and access to healthcare, where it is available, remains limited. Many communities hosting internally displaced populations lack adequate investment into health, water and sanitation facilities, in addition to the issues of overcrowding, poor shelter, scarce resources and limited access to reliable information. The impact felt by these communities not only increases humanitarian need but also exasperates the existing and already complex barriers for IDPs to seek solutions.