Refugees International Vice President for Programs and Policy Hardin Lang appears on the Al Jazeera Arabic show “Scenarios” to discuss the plight of children in Yemen and Syria.
Refugees International joined 45 other human rights, immigration, humanitarian, and advocacy organizations in sending a letter to Secretary of State Michal Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan to renew and redesignate Temporary Protected Status for Syrians in the United States.
The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide increased by more than 2 million in 2018 reaching a record 70.8 million, according to the UNHCR. The world took notice of the plight of refugees after Syrians began streaming into Europe in 2015. But while refugees are no longer appearing in the headlines, their plight endures. Are the global powers taking notice? What can they do to lessen the load on developing nations? Guests: Eric Schwartz- President of Refugees International and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Chris Boian- Spokesperson for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency Samuel Witten- Acting Asst. Secretary of State, Population Refugees & Migration (2007-2009) and former State Department deputy Legal Advisor
One of the greatest humanitarian disasters in Syria to date is looming. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his backers, including Russia and Iran, have steadily regained control of most of the country. The northwest governor of Idlib and its surroundings in northern Hama and Aleppo countryside are the rebels’ last stronghold. Now Damascus and its allies are applying their brutal efforts there. While the immediate threat to civilians there is dire, if Assad isn’t stopped what comes after could be even worse.
Since the Syrian regime and its Russian ally stepped up their bombardment of Idlib province in February, more than 140,000 civilian men, women, and children have been forced to flee for their lives. It is difficult to overstate the urgency of this looming humanitarian disaster if nothing is done to protect these people who often have lost everything.
With support from Russia and Iran, the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, has regained control over most of the country’s territory. Yet, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. In the first eight months of 2018 alone, nearly 1.4 million people were displaced by violence. Now the warning lights are blinking red in Idlib and other areas outside of regime control. Many of the Syria’s 5.5 million refugees are under mounting pressure to return home before it is safe to do so.
In Syria, the population of Idlib is bracing for what promises to be a brutal offensive by the Assad regime. When Syria, Russia, Turkey and Iran discuss Idlib’s fate later this week, they must remember that the lives of millions of civilians hang on their ability to find a peaceful resolution to this situation.