May 13, 2013 Guest Haiti, Americas, Humanitarian Response, Women & Children

Three decades ago, the Center for Disease Control famously created its own “4H Club” to signify the four groups most at-risk for HIV/AIDS: homosexuals, hemophiliacs, heroin users, and Haitians. For Haiti, the implications of the label were particularly high – a dramatic dip in tourism, a near halt of foreign importing of Haitian goods, and, fueled by subsequent poverty, a heightened prevalence rate among Haitians.

May 06, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

Today, Marcy Hersh and I are en route to South Sudan, where we will spend the next three weeks assessing the conditions for displaced people in two of the harshest and most isolated areas of the country. In Jonglei and Unity states, an estimated 180,000 displaced persons are taking shelter in camps, with host families, and hiding in the bush, often with little to no support from the UN or humanitarian agencies.

May 06, 2013 Michel Gabaudan Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East

This post previously appeared in Politico.

Syria’s civil war has become one of the largest humanitarian disasters in recent memory. The number of displaced Syrians is climbing rapidly, and the United Nations now estimates that half of Syria’s 20 million people could need aid by the end of this year. The Obama Administration and Congress have responded generously to the needs of Syrians during the last two years of conflict, but clearly more must be done.

May 01, 2013 Guest Africa, Americas, Asia, Middle East, Women & Children

Last month, flanked by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura on one side and spokesperson Angelina Jolie on the other, and with members of the G8 group of nations fanning out in support from behind, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague stood at a press podium to deliver a pledge on behalf of the G8 group of ministers to “end sexual violence in conflict.” 

April 29, 2013 Marc Hanson Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Women & Children

An edited version of this piece appeared on The Hill's Congress Blog.

April 23, 2013 Guest Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

As sad and overwhelming as they may be, some experiences make you say, “I am glad I was there to witness it.” Meeting with the refugees and IDPs affected by the Nagorno Karabakh conflict was that kind of an experience for me.

April 22, 2013 Alice Thomas Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia

For most Americans, Earth Day symbolizes the need to protect the natural environment – specifically clean air, clean water, and pristine rivers and forests. In the years following the first Earth Day in 1970, some of our nation’s most important environmental laws were adopted, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act. Actors like Meryl Streep also caught the attention of America’s mothers by bringing attention to pesticides in the food that we feed our children every day.

April 19, 2013 Sarnata Reynolds Kuwait, Middle East, Statelessness

This week at the first-ever Conference for the Stateless in Kuwait, I met Omran Al-Garashi. Since 1982, he has been arrested 15 times for his human rights activism. He took on many issues, one of which was the right of more than 100,000 stateless Kuwaitis to nationality. As a citizen, he technically had the right to freedom of speech, but in reality this was not the case. Instead, fighting for the rights of Kuwait’s stateless brought him a step closer to their experience. 

April 17, 2013 Guest Africa, Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Colombia, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Americas, Asia

Crisis after crisis, natural and climate change-related disasters such as floods, droughts, and storms have displaced people from their homes in countries around the world. Though a causal link between any weather event and climate change is difficult to prove, climatologists have long believed that climate change will result in an increase in extreme weather events. Floods, droughts, and storms almost always impact the lives of individuals, forcing them to flee their homes as a result of safety or reduced food supply, among other factors.

April 10, 2013 Guest Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Protection & Security

I have experienced many challenges living as a refugee in Nairobi for two years. The first challenge is security, which is not guaranteed. I live in Eastleigh, a small neighborhood that has become a Somali enclave. A series of explosions took place here after Kenyan troops entered Somalia.

This caused a reaction among Kenyans, who blamed Somali refugees. Although there is an increased police presence in the area, Somalis are afraid of the police because of the way that they behave towards them.

April 09, 2013 Refugees Intern...

Refugees International’s blog is a space to debate the problems of displacement, statelessness, and humanitarian response. Our advocates write regular updates about these important issues, but now we want to expand the conversation. And that’s where you come in.

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April 05, 2013 Michel Gabaudan Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security, Women & Children

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

There are now roughly 200,000 Syrian refugees in 17 camps throughout southeastern Turkey, and this week a Refugees International team visited one such camp in Kilis Province.

April 03, 2013 Daryl Grisgraber Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security

This post originally appeared at The Hill's Congress Blog.

Two nights ago, my Refugees International colleagues and I paid a visit to a cramped apartment on the Turkish-Syrian border. Dr. Najjar, a Syrian physician, showed us various types of medical equipment he had gathered over the past week. They will be sent into a northern Syria province in the coming days to resupply hospitals and clinics.

March 28, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, DR Congo, Rwanda, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

A few minutes ago, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved the creation of an “intervention brigade” within the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).

The resolution passed despite a good deal of skepticism on the part of many Council members, and it’s unclear whether the Council is prepared for the potential humanitarian fallout.

March 28, 2013 Marc Hanson Iraq, Syria, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security, Women & Children

This post originally appeared on The Hill's Congress Blog.

Last week in Iraqi Kurdistan, two solemn anniversaries were being commemorated: the chemical weapons attack on Halabja 25 years ago and the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. However, there was another anniversary that went largely unnoticed: the second anniversary of the conflict in Syria.

March 25, 2013 Mark Yarnell Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

This post originally appeared at The Refugee.

When the Kenyan government announced in December last year that all Somali refugees living in cities must move to the Dadaab refugee camp, I made plans to visit that camp. I wanted to see the place that was already home to hundreds of thousands of Somalis, and where the government planned to pack in thousands more.

March 18, 2013 Daryl Grisgraber Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security, Women & Children

Starting today, my colleague Marc Hanson and I will be in the Middle East to continue our field research on the situation of Syrian refugees. 

RI first looked at this crisis a year ago in Lebanon, when the number of refugees there was relatively small and assistance was distributed largely through local authorities and host families. No one expected the crisis to take on the proportions that it has since, nor last so long.

March 13, 2013 Refugees Intern... Climate Displacement, Myanmar, Humanitarian Response, Asia, Statelessness

By Isabel Rutherfurd, Refugees International Intern

Speaking to Burmese in Yangon last December, I heard a lot of cautious optimism and relief about the reforms inspired by the government’s transition to democracy.