IOM Completes Another IDP Assessment in Northern Uganda
IOM, in close cooperation with UNHCR and
Uganda District authorities, has completed an assessment exercise
of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Masindi District in the
North-Western Region of Uganda.
The objective of the exercise, which took
place between December 2005 and March 2006, was to collect missing
data on IDP numbers, assess the current IDP situation, as well as
to provide background information for return and reintegration.
According to the assessment, the number of
internally displaced in Masindi district stands at 66,116 persons,
with a total of 12,592 households. The vast majority of displaced
originate from the districts of Kitgum, Gulu and Pader. The
assessment also found that 54 per cent of the IDP population is
under 14 years of age, 44 per cent of working age (15-64 year olds)
while the remaining 2 per cent are those over the age of 65
In addition, unemployment amongst the IDPs
stands at 30 per cent with women representing 72 per cent of those
without paid work. The data further indicates that 67 per cent of
all heads of households are male.
On intention of returning to former homes, 21
per cent of the IDPs interviewed expressed interest in returning
while 47 per cent do not intend to return and 32 per cent remain
undecided. The reason advanced by those who do not wish to return
is lack of adequate security.
The information collected will provide an
invaluable resource for the Ugandan government, UN agencies, NGOs
and other relevant stakeholders in the planning of possible future
interventions, also relating to any return, resettlement,
integration and reintegration processes.
The people of northern Uganda have been
suffering for 20 years in one of the longest running and brutal
conflicts. A culture of fear engendered by the brutalities of the
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which includes mutilation,
abduction, forced soldiering, rape and murder has resulted in the
displacement of approximately 1.7 million people whose lives are
characterized by insecurity, poverty and suffering.
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