HEADLINES: Refugees and Displaced People

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Save the Children says about 1,000 to 1,500 Somali refugees, 800 of which are children, continue to pour into the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya. One contributing factor to children being separated from their parents is bandit attacks during nights. By the time famine was declared in two regions of Somalia on July 20 — another three regions were deemed certifiably famished in early August — the monthly rate had tripled: at least 30,000 more refugees had arrived between June and July, roughly the number of people each camp was designed to shelter when they were first established in 1991. [Voice of America & NPR]

In related news, the UNHCR says children at an Ethiopian camp for Somali refugees are dying at an average of ten children under the age of five each day. The agency says malnutrition is the major cause of death but that a suspected measles outbreak is compounding the problems. In Somalia, where the situation is the most dire, the U.N. says as many as 3.2 million people are estimated to be on the brink of starvation. [Voice of America]

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Australia’s immigration system and its detainees are under considerable strain, documents showed Wednesday, with self-harm reports surging 12-fold as waiting times soar. There were 6,403 people in immigration detention as at June 30 this year, with the main facility on remote Christmas Island housing 759 — almost double its operational capacity. There were 104 disturbances in the period, nine classed as “major” and 35 people on protracted hunger strikes, with 83 self-harm attempts — 27 of them serious. The detainees were predominantly young men, more than half of whom came from Afghanistan or Iran. [AFP]

The 50,000th Bhutanese refugee to move from Nepal under a UN resettlement scheme will begin a new life in the United States, a statement said on Wednesday. The program began in 2007 following the failure of years of high-level negotiations to secure their return to Bhutan. Some 42,000 refugees have gone to the United States, while Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Britain have also taken some in. Another 63,000 refugees remain in the camps. Facing little prospect of being allowed to return to Bhutan or settle permanently in Nepal, more than 47,000 refugees have have asked to be resettled. [AFP]

U.N. officials said Tuesday that as many as 10,000 residents of a Palestinian refugee neighborhood in the Syrian port city of Latakia had fled during a four-day assault, as security forces carried out more arrests and intimidation in what residents said was a government attempt to rebuild a wall of fear in one of Syria’s largest cities. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which assists Palestinian refugees, said that it had no information on the whereabouts of the Latakia Palestinians. Activists have said many of the displaced have left for the countryside or Aleppo, Syrian’s second-largest city, to the northeast. [New York Times]



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