Long-standing conflict and frequent natural disasters have caused massive Afghan and Pakistani displacement over the past more than 30 years, affecting millions of people, fleeing the country for protection in neighboring countries. The end of the Taliban regime and installation of a new government in Kabul following the US-led invasion in 2001 triggered significant repatriation of Afghans from neighboring countries. Several million Afghan refugees, however, continue to face protracted displacement in Pakistan, Iran, and – to a lesser extent – Tajikistan. In addition, internal displacement in both Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the rise, caused by conflict, natural disasters or both.
The humanitarian situation for the refugees, IDPs as well as host communities, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan is severe and grave with disheartening indicators for health, education, and poverty and food security being toppled by large issues around mine and UXO contamination. In Iran and Tajikistan, livelihood opportunities and protection issues are a major concern. Increasing instability is a substantial discouraging factor that impedes the prospects of reversing the situation in the near future.
Through provision of support to the displaced and their hosts, DRC/DDG intends to pursue the overall goal of protection and promotion of durable solutions for people at risk due to conflict, natural disaster and/or remnants of war. Given the fluctuating crisis scenarios, it is essential for DRC/DDG to insist on a comprehensive set of activities/operational goals reflecting the specific local situations – as well as a regional approach to the displacement situation which is indeed regional of its nature.
DRC has been operational in Myanmar since 2009, when it initiated a humanitarian response targeting the devastation caused by cyclone Nargis in the Ayeyarwady Division. Since June 2012 DRC has broadened its presence via the Danish Demining Group (DDG) - DRC’s division for Mine Action. Today, DRC Myanmar’s programme works towards the promotion and protection of durable solutions for vulnerable populations including disaster-affected people, IDPs and returnees in Rakhine State, Kachin State and the Southeast (SE) of Myanmar.