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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.

June 07, 2013 Davina Wadley Climate Displacement, Asia

This is the final post in a special series on climate displacement in Kiribati. Click to read the first and second posts in the series.

June 05, 2013 Davina Wadley Climate Displacement, Asia

This post is the second in a special series on climate displacement in Kiribati. Click here to read the first post.

The I-Kiribati (as the citizens of Kiribati are known) are a strong and proud people. Their culture – the katei or traditional way of life – involves a strong sense of personal pride, respect, and openness to foreigners. The I-Kiribati also have a deep spiritual connection to their land.

June 04, 2013 Davina Wadley Climate Displacement, Asia

Every day we see the effects of climate change on our environment, whether it is the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy in the northeast United States, or the 2011 heat wave and drought in Texas.

More recently, world leaders have begun to focus on the link between severe weather and climate change, and this has led to significant public discussion about our vulnerabilities to climate change and the steps we can take to adapt.

June 03, 2013 Marcy Hersh Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

Samuel totters on uneven footing in the doorway of the thatch hut and gapes, open-mouthed, at the strangers in his house. He’s just a year old and has lived his entire life here in Yida, a transit camp for refugees in Unity State, South Sudan.

My Refugees International colleague and I perch on the edge of the bed that Samuel shares with his mom, Halima. When Samuel starts to whimper, Halima rises from her metal chair, held together by twine, scoops up the naked baby, and then returns to her chair and continues her story.

May 31, 2013 Alice Thomas Africa, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Colombia, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, Thailand, Americas, Humanitarian Response, Asia, Middle East

Right now, the shell-shocked residents of Moore, Oklahoma, are grappling with the loss of 24 lives and the destruction of entire neighborhoods following a devastating tornado on May 20. Meanwhile, across the globe, tens of thousands of people in Bangladesh and Burma are returning to damaged homes and villages in the wake of Cyclone Mahasen, which thankfully proved more merciful than anticipated.

May 30, 2013 Sushetha Gopallawa Myanmar, Humanitarian Response, Asia, Protection & Security

While in Myanmar's Kachin State last month, I visited a number of displacement camps around Myitkyina and Waingmaw, and I also met with Kachin community-based organizations (CBOs) who deliver aid in both government and non-government controlled areas.

May 24, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, Congress, South Sudan, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security
Juba, South Sudan -- A man stands in the middle of a dusty compound. Around him, 60 people sit and drink water that he paid for, eat food that he gave them, and take shelter under the roof of his own house.