Humanitarian Response

As Dust Settles in Syria, Humanitarian Crises Remain

As Dust Settles in Syria, Humanitarian Crises Remain

Just back from a field mission in Syria, Hardin Lang writes that last week’s strikes against Syria won’t change the arc of the conflict, nor will they alleviate the suffering of the civilian population: chemical weapons are responsible for but a tiny fraction of that suffering. Their absence will not stop the Assad regime from continuing to press its military advantage.

Will the Latest Easter Ceasefire in Ukraine Hold?

Will the Latest Easter Ceasefire in Ukraine Hold?

As Ukrainians celebrate Easter and Holy Week, the government and separatists backed by Russia have agreed to a total ceasefire in the five-year old conflict. This year, they hope to observe the Easter Pascha holiday in both government-controlled and separatist-held areas without the threat of attacks or shelling. But will the Easter ceasefire hold?

No doubt, the civilians living along the 450 km line separating the warring parties remain skeptical.

A Simple But Powerful Message on Human Rights Day

A Simple But Powerful Message on Human Rights Day

While brutal attacks against the Rohingya Muslims continue, the minority ethnic Kachin people in northern Myanmar also live under severe human rights abuses at the hands of Myanmar's government and military. One displaced woman, Aye Hkine, sends a simple message on Human Rights Day.

As 16 Days of Activism End, The Fight Against Gender-Based Violence Continues

As 16 Days of Activism End, The Fight Against Gender-Based Violence Continues

At the close of this year’s 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, Francisca Vigaud-Walsh writes that women’s bodies are often a battleground in conflict zones, and humanitarian aid areas must be a place for healing their wounds. Programs such as the U.S. initiative "Safe From the Start" are essential tools in the addressing the impacts of violence against woman and girls in conflicts.

Two Months Since Hurricane Maria, Terrible Suffering Continues in Puerto Rico

Two Months Since Hurricane Maria, Terrible Suffering Continues in Puerto Rico

In short, two months after Hurricane Maria pummeled this island, the U.S. response remains too slow and bureaucratic, and lacks transparency and the broad information-sharing that is essential to an effective disaster response.

US Leads International Disaster Assistance Abroad, So Why are We Failing at Home?

US Leads International Disaster Assistance Abroad, So Why are We Failing at Home?

For the first time in its 38 year history, Refugees International (RI) is conducting a mission to the United States. Over the next week, my colleagues and I will be in Puerto Rico where eight weeks after Hurricane Maria made a direct hit, urgent humanitarian needs remain unmet.

D.R. Congo: Alarming Needs in Kasai Must Be Addressed

D.R. Congo: Alarming Needs in Kasai Must Be Addressed

Despite the alarming numbers of people in need, as well as the grave atrocities being carried out, the Kasai region has received very little international attention and humanitarian funding. More than 30,000 people have fled from the Kasai region into Angola, seeking protection and support, and another 1.4 million people are internally displaced. The UN estimates that roughly one million people are food insecure, including 400,000 children who are facing malnutrition. The needs are staggering

Mosul, Raqqa: The Humanitarian Crises Continue

Mosul, Raqqa: The Humanitarian Crises Continue

Following the liberation of Raqqa, Syria from ISIS control, Daryl Grisgraber looks at the humanitarian needs of internally displaced people and of those who remained during the conflict.  The physical and logistical obstacles to providing humanitarian aid may be fewer with the end of the fighting, but in a sense aid organizations are now playing catch-up with people whom they couldn’t previously serve adequately or at all. 

Honoring Courageous Aid Workers Around the World

Honoring Courageous Aid Workers Around the World

On World Humanitarian Day, Refugees International honors aid workers around the world who risk their lives in the service of others. Tragically, the places where people are most in need – whether in Yemen, northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo – are also some of the most dangerous places in the world.

A Brighter Future for Refugees

A Brighter Future for Refugees

On Dec. 4, 2000, the United Nations General Assembly declared that June 20 would be "celebrated" annually as World Refugee Day. For millions of people displaced by conflict and persecution globally, there is little to celebrate, but World Refugee Day does present an opportunity to bring attention to their plight, and to the possibility of solutions.

On World Refugee Day, More Action is needed on Climate-Related Displacement

On World Refugee Day, More Action is needed on Climate-Related Displacement

War and conflict are no longer the primary drivers of displacement and humanitarian crises. More extreme weather and other climate change impacts are increasingly playing a role. In 2016 alone, 24 million people were forced from their homes by weather-related disasters, far more than were displaced by conflict. Meanwhile, more frequent and protracted droughts, especially in poor and unstable countries in Africa and the Middle East, are undermining food security, causing people to migrate in order to survive, and fueling pre-existing social and ethnic tensions.

Support Local Syrian Aid Groups. They Are Saving Lives.

Support Local Syrian Aid Groups. They Are Saving Lives.

The sixth anniversary of the Syria conflict is upon us.  In those six years, five million Syrians have become refugees in neighboring countries.  Inside Syria, six and a half million people are displaced from home, and 13.5 million need humanitarian aid to survive even as humanitarian needs continue to grow. The situation for 2017 does not look promising. A hopeful development of the past half decade of the Syria conflict has been the growth of dozens—even hundreds—of local Syrian groups and networks delivering aid inside Syria and their ability to get aid across the border from Turkey into Syria.  These groups have become an essential element of assisting people inside Syria, especially in places the United Nations and INGOs cannot get to because of security concerns. 

Urgent Action Needed to Save Lives in Nigeria and Lake Chad

Urgent Action Needed to Save Lives in Nigeria and Lake Chad

On Friday, the governments of Germany, Nigeria, and Norway, along with the United Nations, are hosting the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. The objective is to focus political attention on Africa's biggest humanitarian crisis, as well as to generate financial contributions to respond to urgent humanitarian needs.  

Has Zimbabwe Reached a Tipping Point?

Has Zimbabwe Reached a Tipping Point?

Driving across the parched landscape of Matabeleland North in western Zimbabwe, it’s hard to imagine that this country was once the breadbasket of Southern Africa. The annual rainy season ended in March, and this is supposed to be the most food secure time of the year, when granaries and stomachs are full. But Zimbabwe is in the grips of a second year of drought, exacerbated by El Niño, which has left an estimated 4.5 million people – nearly half of the rural population – without sufficient food.

Humanitarian crises & climate change: What did the WHS Achieve?

Humanitarian crises & climate change: What did the WHS Achieve?

Earlier this week, some 9,000 participants from around the world gathered in Istanbul for the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS). The Summit was the brainchild of outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon who, during his tenure, has witnessed a humanitarian system strained to the point of breaking.

Bleak future for Iraq's displaced

Bleak future for Iraq's displaced

The huge number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Iraq – and the possibility that by the end of the year there could be two million more – has recently recaptured some attention in the news. In early May, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq, Ján Kubiš, declared the humanitarian crisis in Iraq to be “one of the world’s worst”, and the Global Report on Internal Displacement 2016 from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre included the fact that over half of the global total of IDPs reside in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq alone.