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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.
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.