HEADLINES: Refugees

Published On: Donate

No longer vulnerable to bombings, gunfire and mortar attacks in their homeland, Syrian refugees in Jordan’s new tent camp now face a new challenge: snakes, scorpions and dust storms. Jordan says sudden surges in refugees filled all available housing in its communities along the tree-lined frontier, forcing it to hastily build a tent city some 11 kilometers (seven miles) south of the Syrian border. Jordan has absorbed more than 150,000 Syrians seeking shelter over the past year. For months, authorities appeared reluctant to set up the camp, possibly to avoid angering Assad’s autocratic regime with images of large numbers of civilians fleeing his military onslaught. The U.N. refugee agency’s representative to Jordan, Andrew Harper, acknowledged that the tent city’s conditions were not ideal but promised improvements to help ease the challenging conditions. There are plans to expand the camp across more of the 9-square-kilometer (3.5-square-mile) stretch of desert so that it will ultimately accommodate up to 115,000 refugees. [Associated Press]

As fighting intensifies between government and rebel forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo, the United Nations says hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes. On the Turkish border, some 50 kilometers from Aleppo, authorities are bracing for an influx of refugees. In the searing summer heat, the vast and dusty Ceylanpinar refugee camp is the new home for refugees who have fled Syria for their lives. It is two kilometers from the Turkish-Syrian border and 10 kilometers from the nearest village. Security is tight and many refugees say that conditions are so inhospitable that they would prefer to take their chances back in Syria. Some 29,000 refugees have decided to return home, according to the Turkish government. Other refugee camps, like Kilis further west, are full. [Voice of America]

UNHCR appealed on Tuesday to the government of Bangladesh to ensure that NGO assistance continues to be provided to unregistered people from Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Last Thursday, three non-governmental organizations — Médecins Sans Frontières, Action Contre La Faim and Muslim Aid UK — were ordered by the Bangladeshi authorities to stop activities in and around unofficial camps near Cox’s Bazar in the southeast of the country. UNHCR is urging the government of Bangladesh to reconsider its decision in line with its long tradition of hospitality towards people who have fled Myanmar over the years. In addition to the unregistered population, there are some 30,000 registered ones living in two official camps in Cox’s Bazar. The UN and its humanitarian partners have drawn up a response plan to assist some 80,000 people who have been displaced or are otherwise affected in Rakhine state since inter-communal clashes broke out in early June. [UNHCR]

More than 11,000 Congolese refugees have returned to their home province this year as a UNHCR programme of voluntary repatriation picks up speed. The operation, which began on 5 May, is expected by the end of the year to assist the return of some 49,000 Congolese who fled from Equateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the neighbouring Republic of Congo (RoC) when ethnic clashes erupted in 2009. A further 32,000 are expected to return during the first half of 2013. Some 143,000 Congolese had fled their villages for safety in neighbouring countries — 123,000 in RoC and 20,000 in the Central African Republic – when clashes erupted between the Munzaya and Enyele groups over traditional fishing and farming rights. An additional 100,000 Congolese were displaced inside Equateur province but most returned home when conditions improved. A few thousand refugees also returned on their own from the RoC. [UNHCR]

 

Leave a Comment

Newsletter Sign Up
Stay up to date with everything going on at LIRS.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.