Refugees and IDPs

Today there are more than 50 million refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs), more than at any time since World War 2. 

Those who flee their homes as a result of persecution, violence, or natural disaster face numerous challenges. There are legal obstacles to employment, housing, and services; physical isolation from social networks and host communities; and few resources to call upon to create a semblance of normal life.

IRD provides refugees and internally displaced persons with the tools and resources they need to start rebuilding their lives. Our programs in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon,Yemen, and other countries deliver emergency food, water, shelter, and medicines. We establish safe spaces for displaced children, provide occupational training to help people adopt new livelihoods, connect people to essential services like education and healthcare, and provide education to counter gender-based violence and other issues that affect refugees and internally displaced people. 

Knowing that pyschosocial health is just as important as all these other needs, IRD offers refugees of all ages opportunities to interact socially, play sports and games, plant a flower garden, or create art. Finally, we work with refugee populations to organize themselves to identify and prioritize their own needs and communicate them to local governance entities. The idea is to recreate as much as possible, the semblance of a normal life for those whose lives have been completely uprooted.

IRD also supports local and national governments hosting refugees to regularize residency and extend legal recognition and access to services. Refugees can strain host communties resources like water and housing. To help address this, IRD works with municipalities to improve access to water supplies or expand water supply and sanitation systems, improve waste collection, and improve the quality and quantity of housing, not just for refugees but for the entire host community. 

IRD Jordan: Relieving Social Isolation through Sport


IRD Jordan: Creating a Sense of Normalcy in the Za'atari Refugee Camp

Sabah Jadooa, program director of IRD’s Outreach Services for Syrian and Iraqi Refugees in Jordan, fled Iraq’s political unrest and war in 2006. However, Iraq has never left his heart and soul. Sabah, age 82, laughs at the irony that he is officially a refugee yet spends his time supporting over 750,000 fellow refugees in Jordan. Though Sabah and his family have been offered resettlement, and he suffers from serious chronic illness, he chooses to remain in Jordan to work for the rebuilding of Iraq and help fellow refugees who have not had the opportunities he has been afforded. (read more)


Advancing Animal Assets for Malian Refugees

Since early 2012 thousands of people have fled armed rebels fighting the government... more

Cameroon UNHCR 2013

An estimated 86,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) reside in the... more

Closing Emergency Gaps to Aid Victims of Displacement in Colombia

Colombia’s struggle against drug production and export, terrorism, and other armed... more

Community Based Support for Iraqis

The goal of the Community-Based Support Program (CBSP), funded by the Department of... more

Community Cohesion in Northern Iraq

Conflict and instability have become daily features of Iraqi life. In northern Iraq... more

Community Mobilization for Partnership in Schools

The Community Mobilization for Partnership in Schools (CMP) project is a five-year... more

Community Services and Assistance to Refugees and Asylum-Seekers in Yemen

Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world and consistently ranks at the bottom... more

Community-Based Support Program

The Community-Based Support Program (CBSP) builds the capacity of Iraqi refugees li... more

Cultivating Inclusive & Supportive Learning Environments in Jordan’s Schools

The Cultivating Inclusive & Supportive Learning Environments (CISLE) project aimed... more

Emergency Food Aid in Chad

In June 2005, IRD completed Emergency Food-for-Work and Agricultural Assistance Ini... more

Entrepreneurship for Refugees Program in Lebanon

Iraqis have fled conflict in their own country to live in many other nations in the... more

Health Linkages and National Networks for Iraqi Refugees in Jordan

The Health Linkages and National Networks (HLNN) is enhancing protection of Iraqi r... more

Health Support for Syrian Refugees

IRD is improving the health status of Syrian refugees and host communities in Jorda... more

Increasing Stability and Resilience of Livelihood Systems among Central African Refugees

An estimated 86,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) reside in the... more

Livelihood Restoration in Cameroon

Following political unrest in their home country, approximately 45,000 refugees fro... more

Outreach Services for Syrian & Iraqi Refugees

The Outreach for Syrian and Iraqi Refugees (OSIR 6) program supports UNHCR outreach... more

Resettling Refugees in Mauritania

In 1989, violent ethnic conflicts and mounting pressures on limited natural resourc... more

Strategic Health Support for Iraqi Refugees (SHS)

The displacement of Iraqis is the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world. Alth... more

Support for Minorities in Iraq

Religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq have long faced discrimination; many still... more

Working with the Displaced in Colombia

Colombia has served as an international leader in the challenge of bringing democra... more