Wednesday, October 17, 2012

70 million people forced away from homes

 The International Red Cross has a new report that takes a look at the forced migration throughout the world. The Red Cross has found that over 70 million people have been forced away from their homes because of armed conflict or disaster.

From the Guardian, writer Mark Tran unpacks the report.
The World Disasters Report 2012 said most forced migrants are displaced for the long term or are permanently dispossessed, requiring governments and humanitarian agencies to adopt more flexible approaches to migration and integration. The cost to the international community of forced migration is at least $8bn (£4.9bn) a year, according to the report.
"The nature of forced displacement is much more unpredictable than in the past and much more complex," said Professor Roger Zetter, the report's editor. "The headline figure of 70 million – one in every 100 people – is significant in itself. It refers not just to people displaced by general conflict but to those displaced by disaster and by development itself – the hidden losers of resettlement projects and increasingly of land grabs."
The report highlights how forced migration has become increasingly "urbanised" as cities and urban areas become the main destinations for refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), and those affected by disasters and conflicts. That marks a change from the 1980s and 1990s, when displacement was synonymous with camps. Now, about half of the world's estimated 10.5 million refugees and at least 13 million IDPs are thought to live in urban areas.
"The mere mention of the term 'refugees' invokes images of tents and camps in most people's minds, but our new report may get us to think differently as we have noted marked movements of refugees into cities. This is not a new trend, but it is one that is increasing," said Barry Armstrong, British Red Cross disaster response manager. "The situation in Syria and surrounding countries is a case in point, but there are many other places where people have left home to escape violence."
In the past decade, cities and towns in Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Yemen and Haiti have absorbed large numbers of people fleeing conflict or disaster. In Sudan, the 40-year civil war that culminated in the declaration of South Sudan's independence last year contributed to massive urbanisation – despite the absence of industry and commerce.

No comments: