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Bridging the Divide in Approaches to Conflict and Disaster Displacement: Norms, Institutions and Coordination in Afghanistan, Colombia, the Niger, the Philippines and Somalia

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In 2019, of the 50 countries with new internal displacements associated with conflict and violence, 45 also recorded new internal displacement associated with disaster. In a time of unprecedented displacement, complexity and interlinkages that too often result in protracted situations, it is essential to strengthen efforts to address risks, protection and durable solutions. Well-conceived and complementary laws and policies, grounded in national and subnational realities provide an authoritative and enabling environment to do so. They set out the rights of IDPs, identity roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders and dictate benchmarks against which progress and accountability is measured. Laws and policies also frame institutional mechanisms and influence their ability to adeptly and effectively prevent, respond to and solve diverse forms of displacement.

In this context, this study explores themes that require deeper understanding and engagement. It seeks to advance discussions and reflection on legal, policy, institutional and coordination approaches to dealing with displacement associated with disasters, conflict and their interplay. It does this by examining instruments and mechanisms on internal displacement, disaster risk reduction, climate change and development in five countries: Afghanistan, Colombia, the Niger, the Philippines and Somalia. In each country, conflicts and disasters occur in distinct areas and overlap geographically, which means IDPs, governments and supporting actors are confronting the dynamic and evolving impacts of the dual challenges. Drawing on desk research and insights from practice, the study provides observations on these complex settings where governments, humanitarian, risk reduction, climate change and development actors must work together to prevent, mitigate, respond to and solve internal displacement. The implications and suggestions contribute to efforts to "bridge the divide" among national and subnational actors and relevant normative frameworks essential for addressing internal displacement.

We hope this joint effort between IOM and UNHCR will be valuable to all stakeholders engaged in the critical task of developing, revising, promoting and implementing legal and policy instruments in countries affected by both conflict and disaster. Refined and complementary laws and policies are a crucial step in the path to achieving better outcomes on internal displacement. The evidence and observations in this study substantiate a range of issues to consider in countries facing conflict, disaster and associated displacement and we expect it to spark further discussion on concrete and context-specific guidance for States and supporting actors.