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Refugees; Compassion Required

Everyone has a right on nature and on this world. A wishful thinking of an idealist man is the desire of a discrimination-free and peaceful world. But melancholy and grief is an essential component of human existence. In fact, it is man’s voracity and greed that filled the world with miseries and deprivations. And the most deprived segment of world is refugees. Presently many countries are facing war and destruction and their masses are toys in hands of fate. They left their houses, their homeland, and their birthplace out of survival expectations. But unfortunately their miseries do not end by leaving disputed lands but continue, mostly, for rest of their lives. There is a long list of war-torn countries, marked with unrest, tyranny and turmoil. But most prominent countries with refugee crisis are Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, Somalia and Yemen.

Afghan issue is the world’s most prolonged crisis. Graveness of Afghan refugee population is reflected in the observation of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as it states that “The Afghanistan situation remains one of the world’s largest and most longstanding refugee and displacement problems.”

 Afghanistan has a long history of conflict whether it is Saur Revolution, USSR invasion, Taliban Regime or American led NATO invasion, all played their part in increasing refugee number from this country. Pakistan and Iran are the two states with largest Afghan refugee population.

Country

Total Refugee Population

Urban and Rural Refugee Population

Population in Refugee Settlements

 

Repatriated Refugees 2002-2014

Resettlements till 2014

Pakistan

1,560,592

67%

33%

3.9 million

10,082

Iran

951,142

97%

3%

920,161

13,765

Source: UNHCR

In this present globalized world everything has a spillover effect including wars and revolution. Same is in the case of Middle East, where Arab Spring caused many dismissals, some peaceful and some bloody. These uprisings bring one of the world’s biggest disaster, in form of Syrian War and its large number of refugees.


Started in 2011 with the brutal handling of anti-regime demonstrations by the Syrian Army, it soon transformed into full-scale armed rebellion. Initially the conflict was between Syrian government and opposition forces. But with passage of time many faction stating to get involved like Sunni Arab rebels, Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, Salafi Jihadists groups and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and countries siding respective bloc. Crisis accelerated as a result of this multi-sided involvement and converted into world’s largest human dilemma in form of Refugee crisis.

Total Number of Syrian Refugees

Refugees Present in Refugee Camps

Refugees present in Urban and Rural Areas

Refugees present in Turkey

Refugees present in North Africa

Refugees present in

Lebanon 

Refugees present in

5,136,969

477,734

4,659,235           

2,970,000

30,000

1,001,051

657,000

 

9%

91%

 

 

 

 

Source: UNHCR

Nevertheless African region is the most destitute part in the world. Wars coupled with natural disasters and political instability, caused major setbacks to this naturally rich but ill-fated region. Somalia is a prominent example of man-made and nature caused concerns. Agitation started with toppling of government in 1969 after a coup led by General Mohammed Siad Barre. With poor executive handling of Barre regime, primarily different clan-oriented militias formed and then they broke into a full fledge civil war in 1988. With passage of time clan based violence accelerated without presence of proper government.  

The situation became severer with the arrival of famine in 2011 causing mass starvation. International forces tried to intervene but by 1994 all foreign troops had been withdrawn due to large scale instability. These developments caused one of the prevalent refugee crises in Horn of Africa or Sub-Saharan Africa. Many countries are hosting Somali refugees, but these countries themselves are underprivileged and vulnerable, adding more miseries to the region.

Host Country

Number of Somali Refugee

Kenya

427,812

Ethiopia

244,340

Yemen

233,723

Kenya

19,799

Uganda

18,534

Total

943,578

UNHCR:http://www.unhcr.org/events/campaigns/55152c699/somali-refugee-displacements-near-region-analysis-recommendations-paper.html?query=somalia%20refugee%20in%20kenya

List of refugee crisis goes on with some longstanding and some fresh disasters. Comparatively lesser recognizable, Yemen is a budding site of growing despairs. Clashes between Houthi forces loyal to former president and forces siding present government paved the way for different external offshoot’s participation. Started in 2015, civil war shook the country from its foundation as it claimed 16,200 people including 10,000 civilians till January 2017 and forcing thousands to left their houses.

Host Country

Number of Yemeni Refugees Present

Oman

51,000

Saudi Arabia

39,880

Djibouti

37,428

Somalia

36,763

Ethiopia

14,570

Sudan

7,046

Total Number

186,687

Source: UNHCR http://data.unhcr.org/yemen/regional.php

Refugees are not lesser human they are just less privileged people without homes and tranquil. Fortunately refugee is not unattended issue; many agencies are working for this cause. But still a number of works has to be done, especially related to host countries, as entertaining refugees is itself a burden on their economies. Thus more aid and assistance should be provided to them under UN supervision. More model villages should set up at out strikes of cities with facilities including clean water, food security, health and medical services, lavatories and children’s education. Encourage host country’s universities to provide scholarships to refugees as less than 1 percent refugees could make it to any university. Steps should be taken with reference to registration, make repatriation relaxed and peaceful. Most significantly, make integration process convenient and easy, by welcoming, employing and teaching local skills to refugees, like language, sports and cooking etc.

This is world’s shared responsibility to adjust a room for this left over chunk of world community. The requirement is of worlds’ empathy, care and compassion, to diminish refugees’ sorrows and miseries.

Iflah Farooq | August Mon 7 2017| 0 Comments

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