Government return operations continue at full scale and sites are being dismantled.
Where security is assured and rehabilitation support provided, IDPs have opted to return to their areas of origin. IDPs who still feel insecure and have experienced trauma prefer to relocate elsewhere or integrate within the community. Management of IDP preferences differs in every IDP caseload.
There is minimal to no assistance in areas of return. Local authorities have requested international partner sup- port to address the gap. Meanwhile, public-private initiatives continue to fundraise for the rehabilitation of IDPs.
The living condition of the already vulnerable host communities has deteriorated having shared their limited resources with the IDPs for over a year.
I. Displacement context
Government IDP return operations have been implemented at full scale since early May 2019 following the 8 April 2019 announcement of the Federal Government’s Strategic Plan to Address Internal Displacement and a costed Re- covery/Rehabilitation Plan. By end May, most IDP sites/camps were dismantled, in particular in East/West Wollega and Gedeo/West Guji zones.
Humanitarian partners have increased their engagement with Government at all levels aiming to improve the implementation of the Government return operation, in particular advocating for the returns to happen voluntarily, in safety, sustainably and with dignity.
Overall, humanitarian needs remain high in both areas of displacement and of return. Most assistance in displace- ment areas is disrupted following the mass Government return operation and the dismantling of sites, while assis- tance in areas of return remain scant to non-existent, affecting the sustainability of the returns. The majority of the returnees require assistance pending full recovery and rehabilitation of damaged houses, properties and livelihoods. This calls for continued humanitarian assistance in the interim and a scaled-up recovery and rehabilitation support in the large areas where this kind of support is viable. Secondary displacements of returnees have been reported in most areas of East and West Wollega zones due to lack of assistance and insecurity in areas of return. In other areas of the country where returns have taken place, most IDPs have returned to their damaged homes or to areas nearby.
Oromia and Somali regions host the largest number of displaced population followed by Tigray and Amhara regions that have far smaller IDP caseload, according to DTM. While 80 per cent of the IDPs are living with the host commu- nity, 20 per cent are sheltered in sub-standard collective sites/camps. The two major recent displacements (Gedeo/ West Guji and Benishangul Gumuz/Wollegas), where there is a greater focus and the situation is still volatile, con- stitute 31 per cent of the total IDP caseload. The remaining 69 per cent are in areas with fewer reported constraints (security, access, services). Where security is assured and rehabilitation support provided, most IDPs opt to return to their areas of origin. IDPs who still feel insecure and have experienced trauma prefer to relocate elsewhere or integrate within the community.
The Government’ and partners’ primary goal with regards to the IDP crisis in the country has been to provide lifesav- ing assistance where needed, and to facilitate durable solutions, preferably in areas of origin. However, severe funding constraints have negatively impacted sustainable solutions of the current crisis. There is a need for an immediate scale up of support for the most vulnerable irrespective of their categorization and location.