20. June 2024 General

IDPs – displaced in your own country

To mark World Refugee Day, Cap Anamur is shining a light on internally displaced people - when locals flee war and crisis but are unable to leave the country.

Cap Anamur bietet Menschen, die vor Krieg und Krisen im eigenen Land fliehen, die wichtigste Grundversorgung.
Cap Anamur bietet Menschen, die vor Krieg und Krisen im eigenen Land fliehen,

Every year on June 20, the United Nations calls for World Refugee Day and publishes the latest figures, with highly worrying results.

By the end of last year, more than 117 million people worldwide had already been displaced – against their will and through violence. This is an alarming record, which is due to a multitude of wars and crisis hotspots. But while many of these refugees seek safety in another country, the majority of these people end up as internally displaced persons. A total of 75.9 million internally displaced persons – over 64% of refugees worldwide – are unable or unwilling to leave their own country despite the threat of danger. The most common reasons for this are a lack of financial means, health problems that make traveling impossible, or a close connection to one’s own home and homeland.

What are the dangers of displacement?

These IDPs are not only in danger due to the conflict, but also due to a multitude of shortcomings caused by scarce food, destroyed infrastructure, unclean or lacking drinking water and a lacking or inadequate health system. The last two factors in particular, in conjunction with the changing climate, mean that the suffering population increasingly has to resort to contaminated water sources, which leads to outbreaks of cholera.

What is Cap Anamur’s goal?

As an international aid organization, Cap Anamur is primarily focused on providing these displaced people with the most important basic supplies in their own country despite the difficult living conditions – be it food, drinking water, clothing, a roof over their heads or a functioning health infrastructure. For us, these are not just privileges, but rights that every human being is entitled to.

2011 hat Cap Anamur die Menschen in Somalia, die vor dem andauernden Bürgerkrieg geflohen sind, medizinisch versorgt.
The never-ending civil war in Sudan

Sudan is the site of a civil war of the bloodiest kind. The government army and troops of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), as well as a number of other parties and factions, have been battling each other for over a year. The conflicts began as early as 1983, with intermittent periods of calm. As a result, the population has been subjected to endless suffering for over 30 years, as they too are repeatedly the target of attacks that claim large numbers of victims. There are currently more than 10 million IDPs in the country who are fleeing the fighting.

For 700,000 of them, the Nuba Mountains in the south have become a kind of safe haven, where Cap Anamur has been running a hospital for 25 years. This has increased the local population to a total of 2.2 million. The rapid increase is making the already difficult food supply situation even worse. A total of 1 million people are now affected by acute famine and the geographical location makes it a logistical challenge to bring in food deliveries.

In our hospital, our staff members and the local forces have to treat an increasing number of people injured by bombing or shelling and, above all, malnourished children. The flow of people does not seem to stop. As we are one of the last aid organizations in Sudan after most of the international aid workers were evacuated in 2023, our responsibility has become even greater. Due to the state of war and destroyed infrastructure, prices for almost all essential items have risen rapidly. Just recently, we brought half a million Euros worth of aid supplies to the Nuba Mountains in order to be able to guarantee medium-term supplies for the hospital for the time being. The displaced suffer, we will remain (s. hierzu auch das Interview mit Geschäftsführer Bernd Göken im DLF).

The war in Ukraine also claims civilian victims

Since the beginning of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in 2022, Cap Anamur has been active in the country to ensure basic supplies for the civilian population. This also includes the now more than 5 million IDPs who have fled mainly from currently occupied territories in the east and south of Ukraine, as well as from places near the front line. But even outside the direct front line, the population is repeatedly the victim of artillery and rocket fire aimed at infrastructure and urban centers.

Cap Anamur has established an aid network together with local actors and authorities to analyze and then meet the most urgent needs of those affected. We support clinics with urgently needed medicines and equipment as well as local projects for local people. In western Ukraine, we are supporting refugee shelters in Novoselytia and Chernivtsi with the construction of a social room and a canteen kitchen. We are thus creating spaces for joint activities, as most people otherwise only have a small room at their disposal. We have organized a delivery of urgently needed medicines and consumables for the children’s home in Ostytsya. And in the east of the country, we not only supplied hospitals close to the front line with vital medicines and ultrasound equipment, but also delivered 2 ambulances for an emergency team to treat severely injured patients. As an end to the war is not foreseeable, Cap Anamur will continue to actively support the population.

Lebanon’s internally displaced persons compete with asylum seekers

So far, Cap Anamur has provided Syrian refugees in the Sidon region of Lebanon with a mobile clinic and a physiotherapy practice. They are excluded from the social and health system and often have to earn their meagre living as day laborers, without any kind of security. A difficult situation in a country that has long been plagued by poverty and severe economic problems.

However, the fact that the Israel-Gaza war has been spreading to the south of Lebanon since October 7 is now making matters worse. There are now daily exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and Hezbollah, which has a strong presence in the south of the country. More than 80,000 people, mostly women with their children, have fled the fighting. Many find refuge with their families. In the Sidon region, social rooms and schools are also being converted into emergency accommodation for refugees. With our mobile clinic, we do our best to provide medical care for these people too. Our physician Dr. Abu Daesh and nurse Hiba have frequently visited these emergency shelters in recent months. Our mission is coordinated by the Lebanese Ministry of Health to ensure that the internally displaced persons receive the care they need.

Our employees face a major challenge here in providing adequate care for both Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons. The security situation is tense and the country’s available resources are scarce. Syrians are now subject to further restrictions imposed by the government, which makes their living conditions even more difficult as they are further restricted in their freedom of movement for work and medical appointments. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure the best possible medical care for the suffering population.

With your donation you help Cap Anamur to provide the most important basic supplies to internally displaced persons in their own country!