Cada minuto, en promedio, 31 personas se convierten en desplazadas: obligadas a dejar sus trabajos, casas e incluso familias. Tras arduos viajes, los refugiados suelen llegar a otros países sin dinero ni identificación y con pocas posesiones. Y en vez de conseguir un futuro más seguro y más próspero, muchas veces terminan marginados, excluidos e incluso demonizados, sin oportunidades de integrarse a las sociedades que los reciben o contribuir a la economía local. Un modo sencillo de empoderar a los refugiados es darles acceso a servicios financieros.

Los proveedores de servicios financieros (PSF) no suelen prestar atención a esta población; esto se debe a problemas de contacto e identificación, sumados a la idea de que son un grupo de alto riesgo.…  Seguir leyendo » “Los refugiados, oportunidad para el sector financiero”

In the summer of 2014 the world’s TV audiences were stunned by pictures of Yazidi families being rescued from Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. We saw coalition air forces dropping food and the Kurdish PKK saving families after they had been mercilessly attacked by Isis and were fleeing for their lives across the mountains. The men were escaping execution; the women, rape and sexual slavery.

The heroics continued as camps were quickly built to accommodate the Yazidi escapees. In capital cities around the world and at the United Nations, good men and women made inspiring statements about standing with the Yazidi people and protecting them from genocide.…  Seguir leyendo » “The world has let down Yazidis who fled Isis genocide”

Reconstruction of Syria

The Syrian civil war erupted in 2011 between forces loyal to President Assad and rebel forces demanding political freedom and an end to corruption and the high unemployment the country was suffering at that time. To exacerbate the problem, in 2007 – 2010the country had also been suffering from a severe drought, which resulted in an estimated 1.5 million Syrians relocating from rural areas to towns and cities, causing an additional strain on resources.

Since then, the Syrian population has faced war, genocide, terror and sectarian violence. The power struggle between Assad’s forces and the rebels left a power vacuum in various parts of the country, which ISIS and the remnants of al-Qaeda were able to exploit.…  Seguir leyendo » “Reconstruction of Syria: Constitution, Arrangement, Political Structure and Return Of Refugees”

A Syrian family pumps water after heavy rain at a refugee camp in the town of Bar Elias in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. (Bilal Hussein/AP)

In July, a Russian strategy was introduced to facilitate the return of more than 1.7 million refugees to Syria, where 6.2 million people remain internally displaced. The United Nations projects the return of 250,000 refugees this year. Increasingly anti-refugee policies in western states and the reduction of Syrian refugees resettled annually from 2016 to 2018 have placed significant financial and domestic political pressures on host countries in the region. As a result, heightened domestic fears in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey of permanent integration are coinciding with a reported increase in deportations since 2017.

With resettlement increasingly less possible and the domestic instability surrounding fears of naturalization, the regional and global push for the return of Syrian refugees is underway.…  Seguir leyendo » “Why Syrian refugees are at risk of a forced return to Syria”

Behrouz Boochani on Manus Island in 2017.CreditCreditAdam Ferguson for The New York Times

Many writers have earned prison time as well as prizes; the Nobel laureates Liu Xiaobo and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn come immediately to mind. But there seems to be no precedent for what happened in Australia last week, when an author named Behrouz Boochani won the country’s most valuable literary prize, the Victorian Prize for Literature, but was unable to collect his stipend in person. The same nation praising him is also keeping him in indefinite detention on a small island in the Pacific.

Mr. Boochani is a journalist of Kurdish heritage from Iran who fled the country in 2012 when the pro-Kurdish newspaper he worked for was raided by the Iranian government.…  Seguir leyendo » “Australia’s Most Important Writer Isn’t Allowed Into the Country”

In 1956, András Gróf decided to start walking. At 20, he had survived Hungarian fascism, Nazi occupation, and the invasion of the Soviet Red Army. To escape the crossfire of a bloody counterrevolution, he walked from Budapest to Vienna, where he reached the offices of the International Rescue Committee (IRC): an organization founded by Albert Einstein to help people fleeing violence and persecution.

The IRC put Gróf on a boat to the United States. When he arrived at Ellis Island, he took the name Andy Grove.

Andy Grove went on to become co-founder and CEO of Intel. He is recognized today as one of the people who profoundly shaped Silicon Valley and the digital transformation of the world economy.…  Seguir leyendo » “Welcoming refugees makes total economic sense”

De la défunte Société des nations (SDN), il ne nous reste que le goût d’un échec, celui de n’avoir pas réussi à empêcher l’éclatement d’un second conflit mondial, vingt ans à peine après le premier. Mais peut-être nous a-t-elle légué une idée salvatrice pour les défis de notre temps, une réponse à la crise des réfugiés que l’Europe connaît aujourd’hui.

Au début des années 1920, la question brûlante est celle de savoir que faire des réfugiés fuyant l’ancien Empire russe embrasé par la révolution d’Octobre. La famine, la guerre civile et la répression contre les Russes blancs et les intellectuels s’installent durablement en Russie.…  Seguir leyendo » “Recréons le “passeport Nansen”, pour répondre à la crise des réfugiés”

Refugees and migrants wait to be rescued after leaving Libya for Europe. May 6, 2018. (AP/Felipe Dana)

The global asylum and refugee system is no longer fit for purpose. As a beneficiary of that system, I do not make such a statement lightly. The reality is that it is outdated and can no longer cope with the challenges posed by mass violence and global migration today.

Following the displacement of European Jews during World War II, the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was devised not out of idealism but as a practical, Eurocentric Cold War policy. It’s been argued that the convention’s architects intended it to provide a method of escape for those caught on the wrong side of the iron curtain.…  Seguir leyendo » “We need a better definition of ‘refugee’”

Las guías de viaje afirman que Lesbos es un paraíso en el mar Egeo. Y lo es. Pero dentro de ese paraíso existe un infierno: el campo de refugiados de Moria, un espacio previsto para unas 3.000 personas en el que malviven hacinados 9.000 hombres, mujeres y niños, esperando un visado que debería concederles el sistema judicial griego —actualmente bloqueado—. Muchos de ellos llevan más de dos años en ese limbo inhumano. La mayoría de los refugiados de Moria han llegado desde Siria, Irak o Afganistán y están heridos física o psicológicamente. Han perdido a sus padres o madres, a sus hijos… sus casas, sus vidas, lo han perdido todo.…  Seguir leyendo » “El infierno de Moria”

‘When foreign people come for visitors’ days, the guards give us good food, a good environment, sanitation.’ Refugees pray in a detention centre in Tripoli. Photograph: Ismail Zetouni/Reuters

I tried to reach Europe at the start of this year. We were in the boat for 26 hours, in the middle of the Mediterranean, and an Italian helicopter came to take photos. After that, the Libyan coastguards appeared to take us back to Libya, and they brought us to hell. Since then, I’ve been in a detention centre in Tripoli.

As of today, infected people here have gone three weeks without tuberculosis medication, and now we think all the men and boys have it. Doctors stopped showing up, they stopped the medicine, and we all live together. Even the guards don’t come near us, they tell others not to come close.…  Seguir leyendo » “I am a refugee in a Libyan camp. Conditions are so bad, people are dying”

Imagine 125 million refugees flooding into the United States (population: 328 million). That is what Lebanon has experienced on a per capita basis. Since 2011, this nation of 4 million people has seen an influx of some 1.5 million refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war next door. “I find it a miracle this country hasn’t exploded,” a Western diplomat told me last week. “Most countries would never have allowed this to happen.”

This is the dog that didn’t bark — perhaps the most surprising good-news story in the Middle East. Lebanon has always been on the verge of collapse because of divisions among Sunnis, Shiites, Druze and Christians.…  Seguir leyendo » “A miracle in the Middle East”

Hace mucho tiempo que se sabe que el campamento de refugiados de Moria en la isla griega de Lesbos está plagado de hacinamiento, condiciones insalubres y una violencia descontrolada, que incluyó disturbios que han dejado como resultado muchos heridos. Pero cuando los trabajadores humanitarios informaron en abril que había intentos de suicidio entre niños de hasta diez años, quedó al descubierto otra faceta trágica de la crisis de refugiados: 30 millones de niños en todo el mundo hoy están desplazados, y muchos de ellos en condiciones atroces. La crisis no sólo los pone en peligro hoy; también amenaza con destruir sus futuros.…  Seguir leyendo » “El escándalo de los refugiados de Europa”

Palestinian refugee children UNRWA school. AHMAD ABDO/AFP/Getty Images

La decisión del gobierno del presidente estadounidense Donald Trump de cortar la financiación al Organismo de Obras Públicas y Socorro de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados de Palestina en el Cercano Oriente (OOPS o UNRWA por la sigla en inglés) politiza la ayuda humanitaria, amenaza con echar más leña a uno de los conflictos más inflamables del mundo, y pone en riesgo el futuro de medio millón de niños y jóvenes palestinos.

El OOPS, creado para entregar asistencia básica a los refugiados desplazados durante la fundación del estado israelí, provee desde 1949 atención médica, empleo, alimentos y refugio a los desplazados palestinos.…  Seguir leyendo » “El ataque de Trump a los refugiados”

Rohingya refugee children in classroom. Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images

A principios de julio, visité el asentamiento de refugiados Kutupalong en Bangladesh, que hoy alberga a cientos de miles de rohinyá huidos de la horripilante violencia que sufrieron en Myanmar. Con las lluvias monzónicas machacando el techo, vi a jóvenes de ambos sexos que aprendían los rudimentos de la lectura, la escritura y la aritmética durante apenas dos horas al día. Tras eso, había que entregar el aula al siguiente grupo de alumnos.

Era sobrecogedor ser testigo de esta triste semblanza de escolarización adecuada, más aún porque estaba muy claro que valoraban su educación. Sin ella, su futuro y el de sus familias y comunidades quedará irreparablemente dañado.…  Seguir leyendo » “El eslabón perdido de la respuesta a los refugiados”

Residents of the Nakavalie refugee settlement walk home in southern Uganda. Uganda has an open policy towards refugees where refugees are encouraged to settle down and contribute to the local economy. Photo: Getty Images.

Owen Grafham (Department Manager, Energy, Environment and Resources) speaks to Gitika Bhardwaj about why providing universal energy access to refugees is crucial to improving their livelihoods and that of their host communities.

There are over 68 million forcibly displaced people globally, over 25 million of which are refugees, more than ever before. With ongoing wars in Syria and South Sudan and continuing violence in Afghanistan and Myanmar, how do you see the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ unfolding given the state of global conflicts around the world?

Unfortunately it’s likely that we will see increasing numbers of people being displaced by conflict over the next few years.…  Seguir leyendo » “Why Access to Energy Can Empower Refugees”

Rohingya refugees in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on July 25. (Clare Baldwin/Reuters)

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 » “Relocating Rohingya refugees to a flood-prone island is a dangerous idea”

Syrian refugee children stand in front of their home at Al Zaatari refugee camp, in the Jordanian city of Mafraq near the border with Syria, in February. (Muhammad Hamed/Reuters)

Over the past month, fighting in southern Syria has displaced more than 300,000 people — the most at any one time in Syria’s nearly seven-year civil war. More than 60,000 of these Syrians fled south, hoping to find safety in Jordan. But Jordan’s government closed the border and refused to let them in, claiming the country has already done enough to help Syrian refugees.

Many Jordanians reacted angrily to the government’s position — #OpenTheBorders became a top trending Twitter hashtag in the country as people called the decision shameful and vowed to share their bread with the refugees. Some Jordanians matched words with actions, organizing private relief efforts to help those trapped on the border.…  Seguir leyendo » “Jordan shut out out 60,000 Syrian refugees — and then saw a backlash”

Refugiados de Oriente Medio y África del Norte

El costo humano de la violencia en Oriente Medio y África del Norte (MENA) ha alcanzado proporciones históricas. Se estima que desde el año 2000, un 60% de las muertes relacionadas con conflictos mundiales han ocurrido en esta región, mientras que la violencia en Irak, Siria y Yemen sigue desplazando a millones de personas al año.

El reto ha sido intenso para los países que reciben a refugiados de estos conflictos. Según un informe de 2016 del Fondo Monetario Internacional, los estados de la región MENA fronterizos con zonas de conflicto de alta intensidad han sufrido un descenso anual del PIB de 1,9 puntos porcentuales en los últimos años, mientras que la inflación ha aumentado en un promedio de 2,8 puntos porcentuales.…  Seguir leyendo » “Un nuevo enfoque para la crisis de refugiados de Oriente Medio y África del Norte”

mpowering Rohingya Women

During the second half of 2017, an estimated 671,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar due to systemic violence perpetrated against the ethnic group, including killings, rape, and torture. Much of this violence, allegedly committed by Myanmar’s armed forces, specifically targeted women and girls. Pramila Patten, United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, stated that the organized gang rape of Rohingya women was “a calculated tool of terror aimed at the extermination and removal of the Rohingya as a group.” Adding to the trauma of this campaign of sexual violence, many Rohingya women continue to experience sexual exploitation and violence after reaching the refugee camps in Bangladesh.…  Seguir leyendo » “Empowering Rohingya Women: Confronting Sexual Violence in Humanitarian Settings”

Toutes les deux secondes, une personne est déplacée sur la planète à cause de la guerre, des violences ou des persécutions. Soit moins de temps que pour lire cette phrase. En 2017, nous avons enregistré 68,5 millions de personnes déracinées, c’est plus que la population de la France.

Nous sommes confrontés, quotidiennement, à ces chiffres alarmants du nombre de personnes déplacées dans le monde. Pour autant, rares sont ceux qui ont pu mettre des visages derrière ces chiffres. Il est impératif de le faire afin d’humaniser cette tragédie qui, trop souvent, est banalisée.

Derrière chaque urgence, il y a des femmes, des hommes et des enfants qui cherchent à survivre et à se reconstruire malgré les marques laissées par la guerre et la violence.…  Seguir leyendo » “Remettons de l’humain en faveur des réfugiés”