A Daily Struggle to Survive: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
Well into the fourth year of the conflict in Syria, it is clear that Syrian refugees in the neighboring countries will not be able to return home in the near future. In Lebanon, where one in four residents is a Syrian refugee, the demands of providing emergency assistance to refugees while trying to support disadvantaged host communities have become especially complex. Lebanon’s government has not been able to come to agreement on approving a range of support projects for both Syrian refugees and disadvantaged Lebanese nationals. And while this political debate goes on, tensions between hosts and guests continue to rise.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Somali Refugees in Kenya
Somali refugees in Kenya are facing pressure on multiple fronts. Earlier
this year, the Kenyan government announced that all urban refugees must
report to refugee camps. At the same time, the government launched a
security operation aimed at rooting out alleged members of the Al Shabab
terrorist organization from Eastleigh, a predominantly Somali
neighborhood in Nairobi. Together, these two initiatives opened the door
to increased levels of abuse, extortion, and harassment of refugees by
the Kenyan police. This comes as the Kenyan government is publicly
urging large-scale returns of Somali refugees even though the
humanitarian situation inside Somalia is deteriorating severely.
DR Congo: North Kivu’s Long, Rocky Road to Stability
The deployment of the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade and the
expulsion of the M23 rebel group have led many to herald a new era of
peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province. Yet
much of the province remains unsafe, many humanitarian needs are not
being met, and stability over the long-term is far from guaranteed.
Mexico's Unseen Victims
Mexico is in the midst of a hidden humanitarian crisis. Entire rural communities have been viciously emptied by violent drug cartels looking to appropriate their land and natural resources. Residents have fled cities and states where the Mexican military is heavily engaged in armed conflict against organized criminal groups. As a result of targeted assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion, Mexican families have been forced to escape by abandoning their homes and livelihoods.
DR Congo: Katanga in Crisis
Katanga, the richest province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
is experiencing a humanitarian and security crisis that is worsening by
the day. While the United Nations and donor countries have been heavily involved
in other parts of the DRC,
international efforts to protect civilians in Katanga are falling short
and must be enhanced well in advance of the 2016 national elections.
South Sudan: On the Precipice
South Sudan is on the verge of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Ongoing conflict since mid-December 2013 has forced mass displacement and limited humanitarian access to people in need.
Tough Times for Syrian Refugees in Egypt
Egypt’s political upheavals, along with national policies that obstruct
the work of humanitarian organizations, have left Syrian refugees there
with little visibility or assistance outside the communities where they
live. More international attention must be directed towards these
Central African Republic: No Time to Lose
international community was unable to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe
in CAR. But action can be taken now by the United Nations and major
donor governments to stop the crisis from getting worse and assist those
who can be reached.
Philippines: Typhoon Survivors Face Obstacles to Recovery
On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan tore a path of destruction across
the Philippines. While the emergency response was successful in
providing life-saving assistance, three months on, humanitarian needs
remain enormous, especially with respect to the restoration of people’s
Philippines: New Approach to Emergency Response Fails Women and Girls
In November 2013, a massive typhoon struck the Philippines, killing thousands and forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes. The response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is the largest to a sudden-onset natural disaster since the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods. Typhoon Haiyan is also the first large-scale natural disaster to strike since the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Transformative Agenda (TA) was adopted, and the first Level 3 (L3) emergency declaration in such a context. Unfortunately, the TA’s debut demonstrated myriad problems.
Myanmar: Act Immediately to Protect Displaced People's Rights
As Myanmar continues its renewed engagement with the international community, it must begin to address the serious violations of the rights of ethnic minorities that plague the country. It is time for the international community to change its ad hoc approach to Myanmar. Key donors and the United Nations must coordinate their advocacy and use consistent messaging to push the Myanmar government to address the root causes of the abuses suffered by ethnic minorities.
Beyond Emergency Assistance: Syrian Refugees in Northern Iraq and Jordan
With the support of donor states and the humanitarian community, the Kurdistan Regional Government and Jordan have done a remarkable job in responding to the immediate challenges of the refugee influx. But the limitations of emergency assistance are becoming clear. A new and longer-term approach is now required – one that gives more attention to the situation of refugees living outside of camps, provides greater support to the communities most directly affected by the refugees’ presence, and entails more extensive engagement by development organizations.
Cachés et dans le besoin: Déplacement urbain au sud du Mali
Malgré les déclarations des gouvernements maliens et français, qui présentent leurs actions contre les insurgés au nord du Mali comme un succès, le bon déroulement des élections présidentielles en Août et le déploiement partiel de la Mission Multidimensionnelle Intégrée des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation au Mali (MINUSMA), la situation sécuritaire n’est pas revenue à la normale.
Hidden and in Need: Urban Displacement in Southern Mali
Despite French and Malian government declarations of success against
Islamist insurgents in the north of Mali, successful presidential
elections in August, and the partial deployment of the United Nations
Multidimensional Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA), security conditions in
the country have not yet returned to normal.
Under Pressure: Lebanon and Turkey Need More Support to Address Syrian Refugee Crisis
The Syrian refugee populations in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey all face significant challenges. Thousands of people leave Syria for these countries every day, but once safely across the border there is no guarantee of finding adequate support for day-to-day needs such as shelter, food, or healthcare. Longer-term assistance, including education and psychosocial care, is still in the developing stages more than two years into the crisis, and it is sometimes neglected in deference to more immediate needs as the emergency grows.
Sahel: Recurrent Climate Shocks Propel Migration; Resilience Efforts Face Challenges
Recurrent climate-related shocks in West Africa’s Sahel region are having severe impacts on vulnerable populations. Increasingly, those unable to feed themselves or their families have no option but to leave their villages, resorting to new forms of migration that bring with them serious protection risks. New resilience-building initiatives launched by regional bodies, the United Nations, and donors have the potential to begin to tackle the root causes of these populations’ vulnerabilities. However, a lack of coherence and coordination is seriously threatening the effectiveness of these initiatives. With implementation still in the initial stages, there is a window of opportunity to address these shortcomings before significant time and resource commitments are made.
Sahel: La récurrence des chocs climatiques stimule la migration; les efforts de résilience sont confrontés à des défis
Les chocs récurrents liés au climat dans la région Ouest-Africaine du Sahel ont des impacts conséquents sur les populations vulnérables. De plus en plus, ceux qui n’ont pas les capacités de se nourrir ou de nourrir leurs familles n’ont d’autre option que de quitter leurs villages, en ayant recours à de nouvelles formes de migration auxquelles sont associés d’important risques en matière de protection. De nouvelles initiatives de résilience lancées par des organismes régionaux, les Nations Unies, et les bailleurs de fonds pourraient s’attaquer aux causes profondes de la vulnérabilité de ces populations. Cependant, un manque de cohérence et de coordination menace considérablement l’efficacité de ces initiatives. Leur mise en œuvre en étant encore à son stade initial, il est encore temps de remédier à ces déficiences avant que ne soient pris des engagements significatifs en temps et en ressources.
South Sudan: Protection and Assistance Challenges Demand a Firm Response
Two years ago, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan and became the world’s youngest country. After more than two decades of civil war, it was hoped that this separation would finally lead to peace for the people in the South. Unfortunately, independence has not brought stability to the entire country, as ongoing border clashes and internal violence continue to cause displacement. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in South Sudan, with more being displaced every day.
South Sudan: Investigating Sexual Violence in Conflict Proves Challenging
In 2009/10, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolutions 1888 and 1960 establishing Women’s Protection Advisors (WPAs). These officials are tasked with building capacity to address conflict-related sexual violence within UN peacekeeping missions and reporting incidents for the monitoring and reporting arrangements as a basis for Security Council action against perpetrators. Today, six WPAs are assigned to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. The rollout of WPAs in that country has been marked by recruitment delays and training gaps which have ultimately led to poor practice in data collection, endangering sexual violence survivors. While Refugees International welcomes the initiative to address conflict-related sexual violence within peacekeeping missions, immediate measures must be taken to ensure that WPAs use an approach centered on the wellbeing of the survivor, following internationally recognized guidelines on safe and ethical researching, documenting, and monitoring of sexual violence in emergencies.
Myanmar: Protecting Minority Rights Is Non-Negotiable
In its rush to normalize relations with Myanmar, the international
community – particularly the United Nations – must not ignore the
increase in abuses being committed against ethnic minorities in Rakhine
and Kachin States, and it must take a stronger stance in defense of the
human rights of affected populations. Ten months after violence forced
them into displacement camps in central Rakhine State, Rohingyas are
living in fear of multiple dangers: flooding and disease caused by the
rainy season, indefinite periods of displacement and segregation and the
consolidation of ethnic cleansing, arbitrary arrests, being forced by
officials to sign away their rights to citizenship, and a lack of
protection from further attacks. Meanwhile, in Kachin State, a peace
agreement remains out of reach almost two years after conflict there
resumed. Roughly 100,000 people are stuck in displacement camps, and
international humanitarian agencies are being denied access to the tens
of thousands living in non-government controlled areas.