Management of displaced persons and refugees
The term ‘complex emergencies’ has been used to characterise disasters that involve a combination of the following elements: civil strife, armed conflict, population migration (either of cross-border refugees or internally displaced persons), economic collapse, food scarcity, and famine. Refugee camps tend to be crowded and are often located in isolated areas, while internally displaced persons from the countryside often migrate into larger cities where they may blend into the local population or form their own urban tent settlements or shanty-towns. Major priorities for refugee well-being soon after arrival in an emergency settlement are food, water, and shelter, in addition to protection from war- or conflict-related trauma. However, neither refugees (or internally displaced persons) nor the agencies assisting them usually have much control over the locations or environment in which they are obliged to settle.