COMMONS

Forced displacement in Africa inquiry launched

13 December 2016

The International Development Committee is holding an inquiry into forced displacement and humanitarian responses in Central and East Africa.

Scope of the inquiry

The International Development Committee invites written submissions on the challenges of displacement in Central and East Africa and regional responses to support refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The Committee is particularly interested in the following:

  • Are the conditions for voluntary return for Somali refugees in Kenya being met and are there adequate arrangements for the closure of Dadaab camp?
  • Are the UK Government and its partners doing enough to support countries experiencing high inflows of refugees in Central and East Africa?
  • What are the most pressing needs of displaced persons in Central and East Africa and is DFID doing enough to support these needs? Are the legal rights afforded to IDPs by the Kampala Convention being observed?
  • Are the commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit in May delivering for displaced persons in Central and East Africa?

Written Submissions

The deadline for written submissions is Tuesday 28 February 2017. The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this where possible. We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence.

The Committee considers requests for reasonable adjustments to its usual arrangements for taking evidence and publishing material, to enhance access. Please contact [email protected] or telephone 020 7219 1223.

Written evidence submitted should:
Have a one page summary at the front
Be no longer than 3000 words in length

Background

With around 4.4 million refugees at the end of 2015, sub-Saharan Africa is the region that endures the highest refugee burden, despite having limited resources to deal with the impacts.  Refugees originating from five countries (Somalia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic) accounted for 3.5 million (80%) of the total refugee population residing in this region by the end of 2015. Pressures on refugee-hosting countries have been mounting. The Kenyan Government recently took the decision to close Dadaab camp, the world’s largest refugee camp which has been hosting mostly Somali refugees since the 1990s.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has 18 funding appeals throughout sub-Saharan Africa in 2016, yet only four of these are more than 50% funded.  In Burundi, the OCHA humanitarian response appeal is only 44% funded in 2016, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) regional appeal for South Sudan is 28% funded. Largely due to the Burundi crisis, the refugee population in Tanzania has effectively quadrupled since April 2015.

Due to insufficient funding, the World Food Programme (WFP) amongst others is experiencing a funding shortfall, potentially affecting its ability to provide the displaced with critical food rations.

World Humanitarian Summit

At the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, world leaders made a number of commitments on international support for the displaced, including to share responsibility for refugees, strengthen protection for those forced from their homes and reduce internal displacement by half by 2030.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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