The number of people internally displaced by conflict and disasters, and the complexity of internal displacement crises across the world, have substantially increased in the last 15 years. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) recorded 28 million new displacements associated with conflict and disasters in 2018, in 148 countries and territories worldwide.
The experience of internally displaced people (IDPs) and their resulting vulnerability differs significantly across displaced populations. In some contexts, IDPs are exposed to high levels of violence, malnutrition and disease in overcrowded and unsanitary displacement camps. In other cases, IDPs are provided with free social housing and priority access to services.
With this in mind, IDMC has developed a methodology to assess the severity of internal displacement, call attention to situations of particular concern, highlight key threats to IDPs’ safety and wellbeing, and better measure progress towards finding solutions to internal displacement.
The assessment, conducted between January and July 2019, compares the severity of displacement across groups of IDPs displaced by conflict in different countries and contexts. In some cases, all IDPs in a country may be experiencing similar levels of severity. In other countries where there are several displacement situations, the vulnerabilities of distinct groups of IDPs may vary and their circumstances are therefore evaluated individually.
Due to lack of information, some groups of IDPs may be excluded from the assessment.
The severity assessment analyses the vulnerability of IDPs in their current area of displacement. It does not, however, compare the situation of IDPs to what they experienced prior to their displacement nor the conditions of host communities. As such, the severity assessment should not be used as a tool to compare the vulnerability of IDPs to other groups.
The severity assessment is qualitative in nature and aims to provide high-quality data which can support governments, humanitarian organisations and other key stakeholders in responding to and preventing situations of displacement. The assessment is a tool to provide contextual information on the living conditions of IDPs and highlight critical areas for intervention in different settings. It should be used as an entry point into further analysis that can support decision-making and informed investments.