New approach needed to address 40 million internally-displaced

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Kyung-wha Kang. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The world has fallen short in its efforts to support millions of people displaced within their own countries due to conflict or natural disasters, a senior UN humanitarian official has said.

UN Deputy Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang was speaking at a meeting in New York on Monday aimed at finding ways to better assist the world's internally displaced people (IDPs).

The UN estimates there are more than 40 million people who are internally displaced as a result of conflict.

Dianne Penn reports.

Ms Kang said internally displaced people, or IDPs, often face discrimination and limited access to basic services such as housing, education and employment.

"Our collective response to these millions of people is, frankly, falling very short," she stated.

She said the UN and its partners have called for a new approach to forced displacement.

Ms Kang said the new approach would also see IDPs integrated into development plans so that they can access basic services.

"This new approach to displacement will mean governments, development partners and investors must integrate IDPs into their development plans so that IDPs can access housing, livelihood opportunities and basic services. It means that we as partners must support and reinforce local systems, rather than undermining them by setting up parallel structures. And it requires donors and investors to provide flexible, long-term financing to support it."

Ms Kang said humanitarians can also learn from "best practices" on the issue of displacement.

She cited Colombia as an example, saying that the country is establishing "strong" laws and practices to help citizens uprooted by five decades of conflict.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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