The break-up of Soviet Union in 1991 was accompanied by rise of ethnic tensions in many former Soviet States. In early 1990s, ethno-political wars erupted in Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia provinces. As their consequence, around 280.000 officially registered internally displaced persons (IDPs) fled their homes. Russian-Georgian war of 2008 resulted in another wave of displacement. Today, most of the IDPs are being prevented from safe and dignified return to their places of origin.

Currently operating in over 36 countries all over the world, Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has been present in Georgia since 1999. The goal of DRC’s work in Georgia is protection and the promotion of durable solutions to displacement problems in the country as a result of two conflicts, on the basis of humanitarian principles and human rights. While displacement of people is the main reason for DRC to initiate assistance, the target group involves not only refugees, internally displaced people, but also vulnerable individuals, local organisations and government institutions playing important role in development of sustainable initiatives for the benefit of the conflict affected populations.

In Georgia, DRC works on issues such as, but not limited to, development of durable housing to IDPs and vulnerable populations, small-scale infrastructure projects for local communities, protection and legal assistance to IDPs. Livelihood support as well as capacity building for the Georgian Government has been one of DRC’s priorities in Georgia. The work with the Government is focused on issues such as integration and migration management where DRC provides technical assistance on policy development and institutional capacity building. For years, DRC is closely engaged at the ministerial level primarily through the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories from Accommodation and Refugees (MRA).

In Abkhazia DRC primarily aspires to assist an estimated 45,000 people in Gali District who fled in the 1990s, but returned to their place of origin over the years. According to UNHCR, these individuals continue to live in an “IDP-like situation”. To strike a balanced approach DRC also renders support to other parts of the war-affected areas and economically underdeveloped regions.

DRC currently works through one regional office in Tbilisi and four field offices in Zugdidi, Gori, Sukhumi, Gali and employs about 75 staff members to implement projects.