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Displaced Bangui Residents Plan to Return Home Despite Challenges

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IOM’s latest IDP Return Intention Survey indicates that 80 per cent of internally displaced people in Bangui, Central African Republic intend to return to their areas of origin in the next month, despite the challenges they face. © IOM 2014

Published 15 August, 2014

IOM - IOM’s seventh IDP Return Intention Survey indicates that 80 per cent of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR) intend to return to their areas of origin in the next month. The survey was conducted 10th -15th July with 606 IDPs at 29 IDP sites around the capital.

The number of people who indicated an intention to return in this July survey represents a 14 per cent increase from the June survey. The percentage of respondents who said they would like to stay at their displacement site dropped from 36 per cent to 6 per cent.

The survey also indicates that despite IDPs’ desire to return, many obstacles remain. The most widely cited reason preventing return was the theft of belongings (74 per cent). Additional reasons preventing return include lack of financial means to return home, the absence of authorities, and not feeling safe (all cited by 68 per cent of respondents).

Availability of housing has become the top priority for IDPs considering return (39 per cent), replacing security concerns (now 28 per cent). A total of 86 per cent of respondents report that houses have been damaged in their areas of origin, and that schools, markets, and health centres remain closed (92 per cent; 86 per cent; and 74 per cent respectively).

The principal survival mechanisms used by IDPs to cope with displacement during the last two weeks are: reducing the number of meals eaten per day (97 per cent), reducing family members’ food consumption (96 per cent), reducing adults’ consumption in order to feed children (95 per cent), and not eating for an entire day (87 per cent).

One displaced woman told IOM: “My two-year-old daughter and my husband and I are staying in a shelter next to the Mosque Central. We want a home, but we don’t have a house, because our whole neighbourhood was destroyed. We would like to rebuild, but we have been here since we fled our home in January. We have used up all of our money. Thanks to a food distribution last week I can make meals – otherwise we would be hungry.”

There are 102,000 displaced persons in Bangui at 40 displacement sites, according to the Commission on Population Movement (as of 5 August). This represents a decline of over 3,000 displaced at three fewer sites than in early July.

IOM’s IDP Return Intention Survey has been carried out on a monthly basis in Bangui since January 2014 to track the displaced population’s return intentions, factors that contribute to displacement, and requirements to return home.

Twelve IOM site facilitators regularly visit all displacement sites in Bangui to collect information on site and IDP needs. IOM also has displacement site facilitators located in the town of Boda in southwest CAR, and in the towns of Kabo and Moyen Sido near the Chad border.

The Return Intention Survey is part of IOM’S Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), which tracks population dynamics in order to guide humanitarian responses to crises.

For more information please contact

Sandra Black
IOM Bangui
Email: sblack@iom.int
Tel. +236 7276 3411
Website: http://carresponse.iom.int/