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close this bookResettlement 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.)
close this folderPart 1: Displacement
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCauses of displacement
View the documentCASE STUDY: Causes of Displacement in South Africa
View the documentDisplacement as a national concern
View the documentInternational response
View the documentWhen to intervene
View the documentUnderstanding the root causes
View the documentProtection needs
View the documentWhere assistance may be required
View the documentScope of assistance
View the documentDistinctiveness
View the documentThe effect of labeling
View the documentPLANNING CRITERIA: Planning assumptions for resettlement

Displacement as a national concern

National governments have an ethical and legal responsibility to protect and ensure the well-being of all their citizens, including displaced persons and others who flee to their territories. Because displacement often represents a governance failure, it is crucial that emergency and recovery assistance strengthen local and national systems to meet the needs of citizens. Many programs have fallen short of this goal. Outside assistance is often required, however, it becomes questionable if it fails to address root causes, or inadvertently replaces or weakens national and local services.

National response to displaced persons might be characterized in four general ways. First, in some situations, the national systems manage well and provide adequate assistance to displaced persons. In other places national systems can function but lack needed resources. Third, national systems, although capable of response, are indifferent or hostile to displaced individuals and may withhold or obstruct aid. Last, in an increasing number of crisis situations, national government structures are non-functional or have collapsed. Clearly, different response strategies will be required in each situation.