The chaos of war or natural disaster inevitably forces people from their homes, separates families and compromises their ability to protect their lives and those of their loved ones. While it is a challenge for all those displaced, for some individuals or pockets of individuals the need is particularly acute due to their personal circumstances, isolation or inability to access basic services.
ICMC has developed an effective casework approach to serving displaced individuals with specific needs that are not met through existing aid programmes. 'Extremely Vulnerable Individuals' (EVIs) are people exposed to exceptional risk or suffering because of a physical or mental disability, a chronic and severe illness, severe torture or trauma, women at risk, ethnic or religious minorities, single heads of households, unaccompanied or frail elderly, and unaccompanied minors.
EVIs typically do not have the means to obtain care and support with the resources at their disposal.
They tend to be excluded from development activities and have only limited access to health care, education and training, employment opportunities and other resources available to the majority of the community.
While a number of organisations serve extremely vulnerable individuals through their work, including ICMC members and partners, ICMC's particular expertise lies in working with people who are made even more vulnerable because they are displaced.
Securing a durable solution for displaced EVIs requires overcoming many barriers.ICMC makes a full commitment to each EVI to assist him or her during the time of displacement, as well as during the process of return and reintegration.
The principal components in ICMC services to EVIs:
Identifying those among the displaced that are extremely vulnerable
- Establishing networks of leaders and service providers in the displaced community to alert ICMC staff of people with special needs
- Facilitating assessments and participatory planning that engage the displaced and host communities, national and international NGOs, international organisations and UN agencies
Developing tailored services to meet the needs of individuals and families
- Meeting regularly with EVIs to confirm that current needs are being met
- Establishing a reliable network of care providers that are able to provide immediate and specialised services
- Drafting a "lifeplan" for reaching long term goals and overcoming barriers to these goals
Increasing awareness and social response
- Encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of extreme vulnerability
- Providing information and knowledge to people in order to reduce extreme vulnerability and related social impacts
- Sensitising family and communities to their role in reducing the causes and effects of extreme vulnerability and caring for EVI's in their midst
Promoting rights and inclusion
- Providing EVIs equal opportunity to exercise their rights as citizens and to access activities in which their families and communities participate
- Implementing activities that enable organizations to include EVIs in their existing programmes (mainstreaming), and provide them with access to education, economic activities, and health services
- Enabling EVIs to gain the confidence to play active roles in social and economic activities within their families and communities
- Meeting the special needs of EVIs through micro-credit loans and well-being grants that minimise vulnerabilities and maximize personal development and fulfillment
- Developing linkages between community support groups and referral services
- Providing access to referral services to meet specific needs
Transitioning the community for a long-term response
- Finding creative community-based solutions to help people with exceptional needs that require ongoing care
- Developing with EVIs, their families and the community adequate monitoring and case management
- Capacity building of local partners and specialised service providers
- Developing and facilitating appropriate networks of care providers at all levels