This is a relatively unexplored area with the literature limited mainly to NGO reports. However a few studies have looked at the questions and find that the reasons IDPs/refugees choose to stay with host communities are a combination of factors relating to their physical, emotional and spiritual security, including:
- They have a negative perception of the conditions in camps and in Uganda the distance and rigidity of the camp structure is a problem for many.
- They prefer to stay with family and friends, no matter how distant, which leads to a preference for staying with their own ethnic group. This provides them with emotional security and comfort.
- They prefer to stay close to their own fields so they can continue to farm and host families are more practical for this.
- They feel safer in host families.
- They are provided with humanitarian assistance they often don’t receive elsewhere.
The reasons host families/communities choose to accept IDPs/refugees is the result of a combination of factors relating to compassion, solidarity and benefits, including:
The relationship between hosts and IDPs/refugees results from deep social ties and is generally positive. However it can become strained if resources are limited. The main problems are caused by a lack of food and space.
The long term impacts of IDPs/refugees on host communities include: increasing vulnerability, food insecurity, an exhaustion of resources and a weakening of the social support net, as well as negative coping strategies and an increase in insecurity. As a result of not wanting to be a burden on host families, IDPs/refugees have sometimes turned towards camps as a potential long term solution to displacement due the possibility of receiving humanitarian assistance there.