LWF and partners call for leadership and immediate action for displaced people

A night view of the "allée des drapeaux" of the United Nations in Geneva. 14 February 2014. Photo: Jean-Marc Ferré/UN Photo (CC-BY-NC-ND)
A night view of the "allée des drapeaux" of the United Nations in Geneva. 14 February 2014. Photo: Jean-Marc Ferré/UN Photo (CC-BY-NC-ND)

“Bold moves are required to prevent the systemic failures we have repeatedly witnessed” 

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and over twenty other international humanitarian partners have urged the UN General Secretary António Guterres to take immediate action for Internally Displaced People (IDPs).  

The leadership of the UN General Secretary is paramount in addressing this ongoing systemic issue that affects all levels of government, community and civil society, they note in a letter sent to Guterres on October 13, 2021. 

The letter is a response to the report published by the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement. The LWF and partners emphasize the need for immediate action to implement the recommendations incorporated in the report including a sustained focus on internal displacement and follow through on solutions. Governments, civil society, the international community and the private sector need to be involved in all measures to address both the causes and consequences of displacement. The plight of IDPs need to be at the forefront of local and international agendas. Sufficient political attention ensures accountability for protection and providing assistance at the national, regional and international levels. 

“Invisibility creates a vicious circle: the less visible Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs) are, the less they are prioritized. And the less they are prioritized, the further they slip into obscurity and neglect” the organizations said. 

"We need long-term solutions, not short-term cures,” said Allan Calma, LWF Global Humanitarian Coordinator. "This continues to be a main challenge of IDP response. LWF welcomes the release of this report and will continue to work with Governments and the affected population in identifying ways to better prevent, respond and solve situations of internal displacement in the countries we operate in." 

We need long-term solutions, not short-term cures (…) this continues to be a main challenge of IDP response.
Allan Calma, LWF World Service Global Humanitarian Coordinator

Leadership that encourages collective responsibility is key  

Recommendations include the appointment of a special representative on solutions for internal displacement and outlining the responsibility for IDPs across the UN system.  In addition, the group called for an independent review of the humanitarian system in the context of internal displacement and propose solutions-oriented recommendations. They noted that the implementation of the recommendations “should include instituting mechanisms to coordinate actors across the humanitarian, development and peacebuilding sectors to develop solutions strategies with costed plans and ensure solutions are embedded in Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks.” 

The group also assured of their commitment as NGOs to stand ready to work toward the implementation of the recommendations at every level. 

Read the letter  

By LWF/T. Rakoto