Forced displacement due to armed conflict or other forms of violence affects over 44 million people worldwide. Perhaps even more remarkably, approximately three-quarters of displaced people are in situations of “protracted displacement,” defined as situations that have lasted five years or longer.
The growing number of displaced people and the notable increase in average length of stay over the past several decades are best understood as collective failures by the affected states and the international community. Addressing these challenges will require collective political will and coordinated action among these actors. New partnerships are needed involving affected states, humanitarian and development actors, civil society, the private sector, and others. Together, partners will need to find comprehensive and innovative approaches. These approaches should be based on human rights and take full account of the political, humanitarian, security and developmental dimensions of displacement and its long-term consequences. The rights and needs of displaced people - such as freedom of movement and access to basic services and livelihood opportunities - must be understood not only as “humanitarian” in nature, but equally and at times even more so as development challenges, and be promoted in concert with the development needs of host communities.
Building on the valuable experience of pilot activities in Colombia and Eastern Sudan within the framework of the Transitional Solutions Initiative+, and furthering the Secretary General’s Policy Decision on Durable Solutions for Displaced People and the IASC Framework for Durable Solutions for internally displaced people, the [Displacement] Solutions Initiative (DSI) seeks to address the challenge of helping prevent protracted situations and to unravel those that have become protracted. It works on the basis of a shared commitment across a range of actors representing donor governments, affected states, UN agencies, international financial institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and others.
In sum, the DSI is driven by a clear purpose and commitment to finding solutions to protracted displacement and by rethinking how displacement is managed, particularly early on, in order to help prevent new protracted situations from developing.