Displacement, disaster, development

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC)World Disasters Report 2012 focuses on forced migration and on the people forcibly displaced by conflict, political upheaval, violence, disasters, climate change and development projects.

The enormous human costs of forced migration – destroyed homes and livelihoods, increased vulnerability, disempowered communities, and collapsed social networks and common bonds – demand urgent and decisive action by both humanitarian and development actors.

I was one of over fifty contributors to this year’s report edited by Professor Roger Zetter, former director of the Refugee Studies Centre at University of Oxford. I was charged with a box on the Arab Uprisings and forced displacement – all in 1,000 words. You can read my piece at page 36-37. The full report is available here: http://www.ifrc.org/PageFiles/99703/1216800-WDR%202012-EN-LR.pdf

The video of my brief contribution to yesterday’s launch event at ODI in London is also available: http://t.co/HFxGzWuC I focused on the EU and EUMS’s ambigous responses to displacement caused by the events that have accompanied the Arab Uprisings, especially in Libya and Syria. Two  figures are very telling of the lack of generosity displayed by the EU: a) to date only 17,000 Syrians have managed to claim asylum in one of the 27 EUMS while over 340,000 are currently seeking refugee in Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon; b) a UNHCR appeal for the resettlement of about 8,000 quota refugees from the region only managed to successfully place less than 1,000 refugees in EU countries.

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