One person is forced to flee their home every second according to the International Displacement Monitoring Center. The current estimated number of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) around the world is 65.3 million, a number equivalent to the total population of the United Kingdom. These numbers show that new and protracted crises are driving people from their homes at an alarming rate. Humanitarian systems devote huge efforts to ease refugees’ suffering, specially focused on providing basic needs like food and shelter. Though these interventions are crucial, political participation for refugees and IDPs is also important and can be the first step to finding viable long-term solutions for their plight.
Doha Sabbagh is the project assistant for NDI’s Citizen Participation team. She is a Fulbright grantee pursuing a master’s degree in global development and peace at the University of Bridgeport. Doha has a background in civil society and election monitoring in Lebanon.