BLOG

September 26, 2013 Mark Yarnell Africa, Kenya, Somalia

On Saturday, militants stormed the Westgate mall in downtown Nairobi, throwing grenades and executing shoppers and diners. The latest death toll stands at 67, but bodies are still being recovered from the damaged building so that number could rise.

September 25, 2013 Alice Thomas Africa, Burkina Faso, Climate Displacement, Mali, Niger, Humanitarian Response

Despite forecasts indicating a good harvest this fall, millions of vulnerable people across West Africa’s Sahel region will not have enough food to eat again this year. Many are still reeling from 2011-12, when poor rains and high food prices left 18 million people without sufficient food and a million children at risk of starvation.

September 24, 2013 Michelle Brown Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Niger, South Sudan, Syria, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

With midtown Manhattan at a virtual standstill, the annual UN General Assembly speeches, side meetings, and high-level events have begun. But can this grand event produce solutions to the world’s most pressing problems?

September 16, 2013 Daryl Grisgraber Egypt, Syria, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security

Since last month’s chemical weapons attack, Syria has chased the coup and chaos in Egypt off the front pages. Nevertheless, both crises continue to shake the social and political foundation of the Middle East. This has been true, on and off, since early 2011. But now the two countries’ crises are converging in a worrying new trend: the flow of Syrian refugees into – and then out of – Egypt.

September 16, 2013 Garrett Bradford Africa, Somalia, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

My colleague, Mark Yarnell, and I were recently in Mogadishu, Somalia. Anyone visiting Mogadishu can see the new construction and other evidence of money flowing back into this city, which was devastated by years of conflict. As Mark and I drove around, we also saw the downside of these changes. Many sites where internally displaced people (IDPs) were living a year ago had since been cleared by private landowners and the government.

September 13, 2013 Mark Yarnell Africa, Somalia, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

I have just completed a five day trip to Mogadishu where my colleague, Garrett Bradford, and I visited camps for internally displaced people (IDPs). There are more than 300,000 IDPs living in makeshift shelters in camps spread across the Somali capital. Some camps, like the one near the dilapidated Parliament building, are teeming with thousands of families. Others consist of just a few dozen people living on private, undeveloped housing lots.

September 12, 2013 Sushetha Gopallawa Myanmar, Humanitarian Response, Asia

More than 100,000 people are now living in displacement camps in northern Myanmar, driven from their homes by conflict between the Myanmar military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). While about a third of these individuals are living in government-controlled areas, the vast majority are located in zones controlled by the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the KIA’s political wing.

September 09, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

In recent weeks, stories from the unfolding crisis in Jonglei State, South Sudan, have started reaching Western newspapers. More than 100,000 people are estimated to be displaced, trapped in soon-to-be malaria-infested swamps beyond the reach of aid agencies. The government of South Sudan has denied access to the displaced and wounded, leading to fears that the situation in this severely food-insecure state could rapidly deteriorate into a full-scale humanitarian emergency.

September 05, 2013 Marc Hanson Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Women & Children

As Hassan shuffled around the room with my camera in hand, snapping photos of his cousin Juhanah, his grandmother told the story of how their extended family came to share this simple concrete dwelling in southern Turkey. Like the stories of many other Syrian families taking refuge in neighboring countries, hers was one of trauma, loss, and uncertainty.

September 04, 2013 Guest Africa, Ethiopia - Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

In a surprising reversal of government policy, Kenya’s High Court recently struck down a government mandate that, if implemented, would have forced refugees out of Nairobi and relocated them into camps.

September 03, 2013 Mark Yarnell Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

It has been nearly a year since Somalia established a new federal government, ostensibly ending years of political transition. Some areas in Somalia are indeed experiencing increased stability and economic revival, but overall, a severe and complex humanitarian crisis continues and many challenges remain – especially for the country’s 1.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).

August 29, 2013 Daryl Grisgraber Lebanon, Syria, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Women & Children

As the number of Syrian refugees continues to grow and host communities feel the crunch, Lebanon is considering changes to its immigration policies which would limit the number of Syrian arrivals. Lebanon has been very welcoming toward Syrians so far, but with Syrian refugees now comprising roughly 25 percent of its population, there are fears that the demographic balance of the country is in jeopardy. Many here also worry that high social tensions related to the refugee influx could cause internal conflict.

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.