What is the relationship between IDPs/refugees and host families and communities in the Eastern DRC and in the area of Uganda along the border with the DRC? – focusing on refugees who stay informally with host communities, rather than the relationship between refugees in the formal refugee camps and the host communities in and around the camps.
This is a relatively unexplored area with the literature limited mainly to NGO reports. However a few studies have looked at the questions and find that the reasons IDPs/refugees choose to stay with host communities are a combination of factors relating to their physical, emotional and spiritual security.
The reasons host families/communities choose to accept IDPs/refugees is the result of a combination of factors relating to compassion, solidarity and benefits. The long term impacts of IDPs/refugees on host communities include: increasing vulnerability, food insecurity, an exhaustion of resources and a weakening of the social support net, as well as negative coping strategies and an increase in insecurity. As a result of not wanting to be a burden on host families, IDPs/refugees have sometimes turned towards camps as a potential long term solution to displacement due the possibility of receiving humanitarian assistance there.
Rohwerder, B. Democratic Republic of the Congo internally displaced persons and refugees&#8217; relations with hostcommunities (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1032). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2013) 12 pp.