On the Edge of Disaster: Somalis Forced to Flee Drought and Near Famine Conditions

On the Edge of Disaster: Somalis Forced to Flee Drought and Near Famine Conditions

At present, Somalia remains in the chokehold of a severe, protracted drought. The Somali government, the United Nations, and donor governments, including the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union, deserve credit for acting early to address the risk of famine and avoiding a wide-scale loss of life. But the failure of the most recent rains and a third consecutive season of below normal harvest and pasture have prolonged the crisis and left significant
numbers of Somalis destitute. RI traveled to Somalia in July 2017 to assess conditions for Somalis who have fled to urban centers seeking aid.

U.S. World Leadership on Refugee and Displacement Crisis Response and the U.S. Government Reorganization

U.S. World Leadership on Refugee and Displacement Crisis Response and the U.S. Government Reorganization

As the Trump Administration considers proposals to re-organize the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, a report by the Expert Group for International Humanitarian Response (made up of former top U.S. diplomats and humanitarian leaders) calls on the administration to adhere to long-held U.S. values and maintain its leadership in international humanitarian responses and to fully examine these global responsibilities before any decisions are taken on how the government is structured.

“Like a Prison”: Asylum-Seekers Confined to the Greek Islands

“Like a Prison”: Asylum-Seekers Confined to the Greek Islands

This report reviews the impact of the Greek government's policies, taken to implement the March 2016 EU and Turkey agreement, which have left thousands of men, women, and children trapped on Greece’s small islands in appalling circumstances. These policies seek to end the arrivals of asylum-seekers and migrants to Greece by sea, but have left thousands suffering in harsh living conditions, deprived of services and medical care, and often experiencing deteriorating mental health. 

Ongoing Abuses and Oppression of the Rohingya in Myanmar

Ongoing Abuses and Oppression of the Rohingya in Myanmar

This policy brief focuses on  the Myanmar government’s treatment of the minority Muslim Rohingya population. In short, the Government of Myanmar has created one of the most protracted and
brutal displacement crises in the world as well as one of the world’s largest stateless populations. Over the past several decades, more than one million minority Muslim Rohingya have fled persecution in Myanmar,  while another million continue to live unrecognized as citizens and
with heavily restricted rights within Myanmar itself. 

"Hell on Earth": Abuses Against Refugees and Migrants Trying to Reach Europe from Libya

"Hell on Earth": Abuses Against Refugees and Migrants Trying to Reach Europe from Libya

As Europe faces its largest movement of refugees and migrants since World War II, the majority of refugees and migrants are reaching its borders by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While the majority of refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by crossing the sea between Turkey and Greece in 2015 and early 2016, the main route is currently between Libya and Italy. Whether they went to Libya to work or just as a place of transit on their way to safety and protection in Europe, migrants and refugees who have spent weeks, months or years in Libya face abuses that include arbitrary detention, torture, unlawful killings, rape, forced labor, kidnapping, and even slavery.

Two Steps Back: Haiti Still Reeling from Hurricane Matthew

Two Steps Back: Haiti Still Reeling from Hurricane Matthew

Six months ago, Hurricane Matthew slammed into southwestern Haiti, killing hundreds and affecting 2.1 million people, 20 percent of the country’s population. Despite the extent of devastation and acute vulnerabilities among the affected population, the disaster failed to attract both the financial support and attention it deserved from the international community.

Aid Inside Syria: Time to Go Small in a Bigger Way

Aid Inside Syria: Time to Go Small in a Bigger Way

Many of the Syrian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) based in Turkey and providing humanitarian aid inside Syria have reached a high level of organizational and operational capacity that was previously absent. The capacity-building initiatives of multiple donors, United Nations agencies, and international non-governmental organization (INGO) partners have helped a number of these groups develop their ability to provide humanitarian responses in accordance with international standards and to be effectively involved in the international coordination structure that was previously out of reach to them.

Getting it Right: Protection of South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda

Getting it Right: Protection of South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda

Uganda faces one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing refugee crises. The implosion of South Sudan has forced more than 1.5 million refugees to seek asylum in the region, with Uganda host to an estimated 700,000 of them. Thousands continue to arrive daily and the United Nations Refugee Agency forecasts that 925,000 South Sudanese refugees could reach Uganda by year’s end. Of those registered through December 2016, 86 percent are women and children fleeing war, hunger, and appalling acts of gender-based violence. No emergency response is perfect, but the Ugandan government and aid agencies deserve great credit for receiving South Sudanese refugees in a dignified and protective manner.

"Except God, We Have No One”: Lack of Durable Solutions for Non-Syrian Refugees in Turkey

"Except God, We Have No One”: Lack of Durable Solutions for Non-Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Turkey is the world’s largest host of refugees and asylum-seekers, with the majority – 2.8 million – having fled the conflict in neighboring Syria. Another 290,000 come from other countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran.The Turkish government has taken a number of positive steps to improve the lives of Syrians in Turkey, particularly in education and employment, even holding out the possibility for citizenship.

A Battle Not Yet Over: Displacement and Women's Needs in Post-Peace Agreement Colombia

A Battle Not Yet Over: Displacement and Women's Needs in Post-Peace Agreement Colombia

After 50 years of brutal war, the peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People’s Army is cause to celebrate. Women and girls have long been on the frontlines of this war – as combatant, victim, and peacemaker. What they and all conflict victims stand to gain from peace is monumental, given that entire generations have known nothing but war. However, the challenges to a sustainable peace in Colombia cannot be underestimated as ongoing conflict and violence continue to threaten this population. 

Accelerating Threats from Climate Change: Disasters and Displacement in Myanmar

Accelerating Threats from Climate Change: Disasters and Displacement in Myanmar

In the summer of 2015, Myanmar experienced massive floods and associated landslides that affected nine million people. Since then, the country has seen dramatic political change, while confronting a litany of ongoing humanitarian crises. As the government strives to juggle humanitarian needs with longer-term development issues, it must confront its extreme vulnerability to disasters and climate change.

Still Adrift: Failure to Protect Rohingya in Malaysia and Thailand

Still Adrift: Failure to Protect Rohingya in Malaysia and Thailand

A year and a half ago, thousands of desperate Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants and asylum-seekers were abandoned at sea, shocking and horrifying many around the world. But more than a year later, little has changed. Governments and international agencies have fulfilled few promises to better protect Rohingya who, facing persecution in Myanmar, have seen flight as their only survival option. 

Internal Displacement in Iraq: More than Just Mosul

Internal Displacement in Iraq: More than Just Mosul

The second half of 2016 has seen some changes in the humanitarian response to the 3.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq, particularly in the central governorates. With Ramadi and Fallujah liberated in the past year, fewer towns remained under siege, more people were able to leave dangerous areas, and a limited number of the displaced are even returning home. However, the situation in general for IDPs remains extremely worrisome.

 

Refugee Returns from Kenya to Somalia: “This is About Fear… Not About Choice"

Refugee Returns from Kenya to Somalia: “This is About Fear… Not About Choice"

The Kenyan government’s threat to close the Dadaab refugee camp by the end of November would not only endanger the lives of several hundred thousand Somali refugees but has already caused irreparable harm and damage. With no alternative options, some refugees have been coerced into repatriating to Somalia, where insecurity and an ongoing humanitarian crisis continue. The United Nations Refugee Agency’s focus on expediting the pace of returns – through a program that is supported by donors and implemented in partnership with non-governmental organizations – in the face of political pressure from Kenya, promotes large-scale returns that are unlikely to be sustainable. Development and reintegration initiatives in designated areas of return in Somalia need time to take hold; and, in the meantime, support for Somali refugees who remain in Kenya cannot be abandoned. 

From Bad to Worse: Deepening Impacts of Zimbabwe's Drought

From Bad to Worse: Deepening Impacts of Zimbabwe's Drought

At present, Zimbabwe’s future appears precariously poised on an edge. Two consecutive years of poor rains, compounded by El Niño, have resulted in the worst drought in 35 years. It is estimated that more than four million people will require emergency humanitarian aid to get them through to the end of the lean season in March 2017. Exacerbating the situation is the regional nature of the drought, along with an economic crisis, a shortage of cash, and growing political tensions. 

No Respite: Burundian Refugees in the DR Congo

No Respite: Burundian Refugees in the DR Congo

Since April 2015, a violent political crisis in Burundi has forced several hundred thousand people from their homes, many seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Nearly 23,000 Burundians fled overland or by lake into the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This number may seem small relative to other refugee crises around the world, but the Burundians have arrived into a region that is wracked by severe insecurity and volatility. Burundian refugees face threats from the myriad armed groups that operate in eastern DRC, in addition to Congolese security forces and migration officials who prey on vulnerable populations. A robust international response is required to protect and support Burundian refugees in the DRC, something that is lacking at present.

Nigeria’s Displaced Women and Girls: Humanitarian Community at Odds, Boko Haram’s Survivors Forsaken

Nigeria’s Displaced Women and Girls: Humanitarian Community at Odds, Boko Haram’s Survivors Forsaken

It has been two years since the world’s deadliest terrorist organization – Boko Haram – abducted 271 girls from their high school in the town of Chibok – a tragedy that would shine much needed international attention on conflict in northeastern Nigeria. Sadly, the Chibok girls are only one part of a much larger story of violence against women and girls in the northeast. But the attention on this remote corner of the Sahel has not translated into sustained humanitarian assistance for all those that have been affected. 

Planting the Seeds of Success? Turkey's New Refugee Work Permits

Planting the Seeds of Success? Turkey's New Refugee Work Permits

Turkey’s December 2015 announcement of a work permit option for registered Syrian refugees is a momentous step, with support expressed by the United Nations, international non-governmental organizations, and donor governments alike. The decision is indeed encouraging both for ensuring refugees’ rights are respected and for promoting self-sufficiency. The implementation process for the work permits is just beginning, and while the new policy has promise, there are also potential obstacles and warning signs in the process as it appears on paper. 

Women and Girls Failed: The Burundian Refugee Response in Tanzania

Women and Girls Failed: The Burundian Refugee Response in Tanzania

The recent crisis in Burundi has forced the flight of more than 220,000 refugees, of whom half are female. Many experienced gender-based violence (GBV), including sexual violence, during their flight to safety. Nearly 50 percent of Burundian women and girls reporting GBV upon arrival in Tanzania required post-rape care. Yet many refugees in Tanzania say that the threat of violence continues in their country of refuge – in and around the very camps where they should feel safe.