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August 26, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, DR Congo, Rwanda

On Friday morning, the sound of mortar shells could be heard from Mugunga III displaced camp in eastern Congo. For the 160,000 displaced persons living in the Mugunga camps, it carried with it a new threat that comes all too soon after last year’s siege of the nearby town of Goma.

August 21, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

For much of the year, Yida refugee camp on the border of Sudan and South Sudan is hot, dry, and seemingly barren. (Watch our video to get a glimpse of camp life.) Yida’s 70,000 residents depend almost entirely on the World Food Program (WFP) for nutritional support, and receive rations of sorghum, yellow peas, oil, and salt. This diet has brought many people back from the brink of severe malnutrition. But while the refugees may not be starving, today we are seeing a new challenge emerge: nutrient deficiency.

August 19, 2013 Marc Hanson Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security, Women & Children

This past weekend, my colleague Daryl Grisgraber and I touched town in Beirut to begin Refugees International’s fifth mission focused on Syrian refugees.

August 12, 2013 Sushetha Gopallawa Myanmar, Asia, Protection & Security, Statelessness

During my recent visit to Myanmar, I met with human rights activist Kyaw Hla Aung in a Rohingya village in Sittwe Township, Rakhine State. We talked about his peaceful political activism, his public service, and his humanitarian work. But mostly we talked about how he and other village elders and leaders feared for their lives.

August 09, 2013 Daryl Grisgraber Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security

Yesterday’s announcement that the United States will accept 2,000 Syrian refugees is a welcome piece of good news for the nearly two million Syrians now living in exile. Many have spent more than two years trying to eke out an existence in neighboring countries that offer varying degrees of hospitality and support.

July 29, 2013 Mark Yarnell Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Protection & Security

On Friday, the High Court of Kenya issued a landmark decision on refugee rights. The court struck down a December 2012 government directive that would have forced all refugees living in cities to relocate to camps and suspended all registration and support services for city-dwelling refugees and asylum-seekers.

July 24, 2013 Katia Gibergues Africa, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

Omar, 24, lives in the Goudebo refugee camp on the outskirts of Dori, Burkina Faso. Like thousands of other Malian Tuaregs, Omar and his family sought refuge in neighboring Burkina after fighting broke out between Tuareg separatists, Islamic extremists, and the Malian government. In fact, he and his family have been displaced since February 2012, the very onset of the crisis.

July 16, 2013 Melanie Teff Bangladesh, Myanmar, Asia, Protection & Security, Statelessness

On my research missions to Myanmar and to Bangladesh, I have met so many Rohingyas who suffered terrible abuses at the hands of the NaSaKa border force and whose everyday lives were blighted by their fear of it. In our reports, Refugees International has repeatedly demanded that the NaSaKa be reined in, and so we welcome President Thein Sein's announcement that this notorious force is being disbanded.

July 15, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, DR Congo, Uganda, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

This weekend, while many of us in the United States were outside enjoying the summer weather, 66,000 civilians fled across the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern border into Uganda. The exodus came after an attack by a Ugandan rebel group known as the Allied Democratic Forces - National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU), who on Thursday briefly took control of the Congolese town of Kamango.

July 11, 2013 Katia Gibergues Africa, Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Women & Children

In the shade of a tree, a group of girls crush rocks, pounding away relentlessly with heavy stone clubs. It is the middle of the day here in Boulyiba, Burkina Faso. The dry season is almost at an end, and the temperature hovers above 100°F, yet these girls have a great deal of hard work ahead of them. Their father, Assane, has brought a whole pile of rocks back from a gold mine 15 kilometers from their village.

July 03, 2013 Alice Thomas Africa, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Protection & Security

This post first appeared at SahelNOW.

Under a corrugated metal roof at the Goudebou refugee camp in Burkina Faso, eight or nine families huddle in small groups awaiting a food distribution. These are the “new arrivals,” a UN Refugee Agency worker explains – people who recently fled Mali, Burkina’s northern neighbor, and arrived at the camp in recent days.

July 02, 2013 Guest Humanitarian Response

A little more than a week ago, June 20th, was World Refugee Day. The occasion seeks to raise awareness of, and funds for, the continued international work to support those displaced from their home countries. It furthermore is an opportunity to show solidarity with people who may still suffer from the consequences of persecution and the challenges of exile and exclusion.

However, the universal context of such a campaign raises questions about the transcendental nature of refugee identity and experience, and the possible existence of a global “refugee community.”

June 28, 2013 Sarnata Reynolds Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Middle East, Statelessness

Last month in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Mohammed al-Huraisi, a stateless street vendor, died after lighting himself on fire. His act of protest came after months of harassment and extortion by Saudi authorities, who refused to issue a permit for his a watermelon stand. So far, however, Mohammed’s tragic death has been virtually ignored by the international community, and the larger issue of Saudi statelessness remains virtually unknown outside the Gulf.

June 26, 2013 Guest Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security

In early March, news agencies across the world reported about Bushra, a 19 year-old Syrian mother of two who fled her home in Homs, Syria to arrive in Tripoli, Lebanon. What was newsworthy about Bushra wasn't the bombs and bullets her family fled from, nor the crowded camp she now inhabited—these traits she shared with hundreds of thousands of other refugees around her. What was most newsworthy about Bushra's migration was that she was recorded by the United Nations as the one millionth refugee to flee Syria.
June 20, 2013 Guest Myanmar, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Statelessness

Q: When RI visited Rohingya internally displaced people (IDPs) in 2012 and 2013, they were under a great amount of stress, with inadequate food, medical care, or shelter. Some had no shelter whatsoever. In December 2012, UN Under Secretary General Valerie Amos said that the camps as some of the worst she had ever seen. You visited the Rohingya people in November 2012 and February 2013. Can you describe the conditions you observed?

June 18, 2013 Michael Boyce Africa, Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, United Nations

This post originally appeared on the SahelNow blog.

If you drive along the roads of northern Burkina Faso, as my colleagues and I have these past two weeks, you won’t always see the usual signs of human activity. While the population here is growing rapidly, the Sahel remains a sparsely populated region, and desiccated savannah dominates the landscape – stretching for miles into the distance.

June 14, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

Nila is tired. Two weeks ago, she arrived in Yida camp, South Sudan, with her three young children in search of safety and food. Like the many people that fled before her, Nila and her family escaped from their homes in the middle of the night after relentless bombings by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) made it impossible for them to harvest their crops. As they hid in the caves away from the bombs, hunger set in, and finally they were forced to flee.

June 12, 2013 Guest Africa, Kenya, Somalia, U.S. Administration

In the United States, the green card signifies permanent resident status. Many people have to live and work in the U.S. for years, on temporary visas, before obtaining a green card. However, the Diversity Visa Program, known as "the green card lottery," gives 50,000 people from across the world the chance to relocate to the U.S.

June 10, 2013 Alice Thomas Africa, Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Congress, Mali, Niger, U.S. Administration, United Nations

Africa’s Sahel region is home to some of the world’s poorest and least developed countries. But in recent years, more erratic weather coupled with political unrest, has had grave impacts on Sahelian populations. Instability brought on by conflict and growing food insecurity has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. And these impacts are only likely to increase in the decades to come as millions of vulnerable, agriculture-dependent families across the region face increased climate variability.