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.
May 14, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, South Sudan, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

Bor, South Sudan – It has been a dark week in Jonglei State in eastern South Sudan. On Friday night, the last of the humanitarian workers in Pibor town were evacuated by UN helicopter as South Sudanese forces roamed the dusty streets, attacking civilians and looting anything they could carry.

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.