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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Friday, April 08, 2005

IDP Assessment

The joint rapid Internally Displaced Person (IDP) assesment by UNHCR and UNICEF has been released. The assesment is based on a surveys conduceted in Amaparai, Galle and Jaffna districts. The report describes the objectives, methodology, background, findings and and a summary or recommendations. The introduction of the report is given below.

I. INTRODUCTION
The tsunami that struck Sri Lanka on 26th of December killed more than 30,000 persons and initially displaced a further 800,000 according to the figures released by the Government of Sri Lanka. During the following days and nights the survivors of the disaster held center-stage in all media – everybody was concerned about their needs and their stories. Today 518,698 remain in displacement. Most of them are living with friends and relatives, some still in collective accommodation centers or in makeshift camps. What are their concerns, their challenges and their preferences three months on?

While much has been done, especially to meet the most immediate needs, very few attempts, if any, have been made to systematically collect first-hand information on what IDPs themselves think of their situation and their options. Yet the need for internally displaced persons to have their voices heard is in itself an important element in the healing and rehabilitation of persons and communities in any post-conflict or post-disaster situation. It is an important step in ensuring that people are allowed to take charge of their lives. It entails building on individual and communal capacities and potentials rather than side-stepping and making them passive spectators to processes that so fundamentally affect their lives. Furthermore, international human rights standards recognize the right of displaced persons to fully participate in the planning and management of their return, relocation and reintegration (See UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, Principle 28).

It is in this spirit that this survey has been initiated and conducted. However, the bold but simple aspiration has been to provide a platform for persons displaced by the tsunami to have some of their concerns documented and voiced at a national level. This is a first step in collecting this data, which will be followed up at a later stage.

The survey, jointly undertaken by UNICEF and UNHCR, is limited in scope and geographical coverage. A total of 226 families displaced by the tsunami have been interviewed in Ampara, Jaffna and Galle. In addition, 76 host families have also been interviewed. Thus a total of 302 interviews were carried out for this survey.

Download the full report


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