|Resettlement of Displaced Population - 1st Edition (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - Disaster Management Training Programme - United Nations Development Programme , 1995, 60 p.)|
|Part 1: Displacement|
Intervention is unbalanced if it focuses only on displaced families when the same needs are felt by all.
To assess the circumstances of displacement for programming assistance, it is important to compare needs of displaced persons with non-displaced. Are the needs of displaced people actually different from non-displaced persons? Or, are their needs perceived to be common to others within the society?
In many situations, the needs of the displaced are indeed different and arise because of displacement. Displaced people may be out of contact with local support systems and unable to find work or housing. They may not share the same opportunities or may face discrimination and other obstacles. In natural disasters, for example, when families are displaced due to loss of residence, those whose houses were not destroyed are likely to perceive displaced persons as legitimately deserving special help.
The special problems faced by displaced families may not be a consequence of displacement but of poverty, ethnicity or other causes which also effect those with whom they are living. Intervention is unbalanced if it focuses only on displaced families when the same needs are felt by all. The local people may not perceive a difference between themselves and the "displaced", particularly in situations when the entire population faces crisis. Often, human rights abuses are not inflicted only on displaced persons but on a much wider population.
The need for emergency food relief in generalized scarcity situations may be equal for displaced and non-displaced.
Experience suggests that targeted programs are more likely to be appropriate where displaced persons are locally recognized as distinctive and eligible for special help. Singling out groups of displaced persons based on criteria determined by outside agencies or providing services not available to others can create social conflict and problems of governance. In situations where displaced families live among non-displaced families in similar circumstances, field staff report that it is counterproductive to target displaced families with aid but exclude other equally needy families.