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Mama, Damien
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
IEE Working Papers 184
The paper is a result of an empirical field research carried out in Sierra Leone from June to August 2003. It analyses the resettlement and reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Sierra Leone in terms of policies applied, actors involved and problems encountered. It also tests the Impoverishment Risks and Reconstruction Model (Cernea, 2000) which has been primarily developed for development-induced displacement but claims to be applicable to conflict-induced displacement. Through the analysis of major policy documents on resettlement and interviews with IDPs, Government and international partners in Sierra Leone, the research has come to the following conclusions. First, IDPs in Sierra Leone are prone to a number of risks that are similar to that predicted by the IRR model: joblessness, homelessness, lack of access to health facilities, food insecurity, community disarticulation, lack of access to cultural resources, loss of property, and problems of access to education. However, landlessness and marginalisation are not part of the risks identified. Second, the resettlement process suffered insufficient sensitisation, insufficient respect for safety and dignity principles and some IDP camps were still populated by people who claim to be left out after the resettlement process had been declared over. Third, many IDPs have developed coping strategies as a response to the gaps identified. Those who could not cope in their communities resorted to new waves of economically motivated displacement. From a policy point of view, an integrated approach to resettlement that reverses the identified risks is paramount to rebuilding livelihoods in war-affected communities.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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