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Involuntary Resettlement

  • Whereas 541 million people were affected (injured, homeless, displaced, evacuated or requiring immediate assistance) by natural disasters during 1970-1979, an estimated 2.3 billion will be affected by the end of this decade.

Involuntary displacement occurs when the decision of moving is made and imposed by an external agent and when there is no possibility to stay. Involuntary displacement can be caused by environmental degradation, natural disasters, conflicts or development projects. It is associated with loss of housing, shelter, income, land, livelihoods, assets, access to resources and services, among others.

Displacement affects not only those physically displaced but also the resident population (people who are not directly affected and thus do not move but feel the impact of losing their neighbors and resources) as well as the host population (those who receive displaced persons and could be positively or adversely affected by this situation).

Resettlement is a process to assist the displaced persons to replace their housing, assets, livelihoods, land, access to resources and services and to restore their socioeconomic and cultural conditions. In addition to development-induced displacement, the Bank also works on the other causes of displacement, such as natural disasters, climate change and conflict.

The Involuntary Resettlement team in the World Bank helps identify, plan, implement, and monitor involuntary resettlement to minimize displacement and restore incomes.


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