The world’s largest refugee camp, a densely packed agglomeration of bamboo and tarp huts with 626,000 people, sits near this town in Bangladesh. It expanded rapidly and haphazardly following an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar last August.
“Our entire village came together and settled on this spot,” said a 19-year-old refugee who arrived in September. “At first this was a jungle, but we cleared it. Now there are no trees.”
Monsoon season is here, and high winds and flooding are happening now. For months, the refugees have been busily shoring up their huts, but the camp remains vulnerable.… Seguir leyendo »
I started working to help refugees in 1975 after watching TV images of Vietnamese refugees hanging from the landing skids of helicopters that took off from the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon.
As an American, I was acutely aware these refugees were fleeing an abusive conflict in which my country was heavily engaged.
Over the years, I have called on various US administrations to assist refugees in all corners of the globe — not just those displaced as a consequence of American actions, such as Iraqi and Afghan refugees, but Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and the lost boys of Sudan.… Seguir leyendo »
The refugee burden that Syria’s neighbors are shouldering is heavy and should not be borne alone. But keeping people fleeing for their lives in buffer zones inside Syrian borders risks trapping rather than protecting them.
Yet this is precisely what President Michel Suleiman of Lebanon proposed on April 4, joining others such as Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey, who made a similar call in November 2011, and Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour of Jordan, who spoke in January of securing “safe havens” inside Syrian territory, saying of potential new refugee flows, “We will stop them and keep them in their country.”
It appears that steps are being taken to create such border zones.… Seguir leyendo »