Internally Displaced Persons, or IDPs, are one of the most vulnerable people due to armed conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations, and other challenges. Unlike refugees, IDPs have not crossed an international border to find sanctuary but have remained inside their home countries. Baghdad hosts the largest number of IDPs; more than 191,000 IDPs live in some 123 informal settlements. Recent data and reports from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other UN agencies indicate that there has been a renewed wave of displacements in 2013. With the deteriorating security situation causing violence and unrest in some parts of the country, Iraq faces the prospect of a sharp rise in the number of IDPs and a decline in the already dire conditions under which these vulnerable communities live. For the most part, this group remains invisible and our project aims to change that through digital storytelling and transparency training.
To many Iraqis IDPs are an invisible group who are a part of a temporary state of things. It’s important to expose Iraqis and others to IDPs’ stories and of the challenges they face in their daily lives. IDPs live with the constant risk of eviction by authorities. They are often traumatized and frightened, having fled violence and threats to their families. They struggle to buy the daily food that they need to sustain themselves, and their dwellings are often inadequate to fully protect them from the heat or winter rains. They are also among those who are not able to take full advantage of basic services, including health services, due to limited access and resources. Women and girls within the IDP population are the most adversely affected.