Headline Feb 24, 2016/ ''' *OTHER REFUGEES* : THE HOPE - THE FEARS '''



IN PAKISTAN,  -along the border with Afghanistan, a string of camps founded in 1979 for Afghan refugees are now a string of 79 permanent slums run by the United Nations and home to nearly a million people.

Another example : Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Darfur have been living in a collection of 12 camps across the border in Chad since 2004, with just no end in sight.

Similar numbers and situations exist in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Thailand, Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen, Jordan and elsewhere people are living and reproducing, in limbo.............. 

THE WORLD'S LARGEST REFUGEE CAMP, a city made of mud and sticks, the size of new Orleans called  Dadaab, is in Northeastern Kenya.

The camp was established in 1991 as the temporary refuge for around 90,000 people fleeing Somalia's civil war. Today it's home for to over half a million.

One simply gets blown away by the fact of its existence. How could this place still be here? And how could the world allow all these people to stay in this baking hot limbo, unable to work and unable to leave, to spend their lives in an open prison?

Writes one research author : *But five years later, after following residents through their daily lives and listening to their hopes and fears, I have come to a very different realization : Dadaab is not an anachronism, or a hangover from a former world order. It is the future*. 

It wasn't supposed to be this way. Dadaab was created as a short-term haven where the international community could house and feed displaced people until a  ''durable solution''  could be found.

Under the principles set out by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, this meant that refugees would stay in the camp until one of the three things happened: They are returned to the country of origin; were integrated into their new host country, in this case, Kenya; or were offered resettlement to a third country or the United States.

There are nearly  400,000 Somali refugees living in Dadaab for whom none of these outcomes is likely. They are among the  14 million refugees in what the United Nation calls  ''protracted situations''  those in exile for more than five years.

The global displaced population is now 60 million, but this appalling number masks the another crisis that has been brewing out of headlines for the past decade; the explosion in protracted refugees.

Rich nations are accepting fewer refugees through the formal United Nations resettlement program. Host nations such as Pakistan, Jordan and Kenya have balked at integrating any of the refugees in their camps. 

And some with no prospect of an end to refugee status, many who can afford it are pursuing the illegal journey to Europe.

But these are fraction of the total. for a vast majority, refugee camps are becoming increasingly, permanent.

No one wants to admit. Not the countries that must host them, not the United Nations, which must pay for them, and least of all the refugees themselves, who must live there. This makes for strange contradictions.

In Dadaab, the Kenyan government forbids permanent structures, so when the standard issue United Nations tents turn gray and ragged as they inevitably do after two rainy seasons in the desert, refugees build homes of red mud over frames of thorns.

Water still comes from temporary tap stands, and toilets are still holes in the ground. But social life does not stand still, the camp has democratic elections, football leagues, cinemas, hotels, generators providing informal power and market trading in smuggled goods and surplus United Nation rations that turns over $25 million a year.

Kenya, like many host nations, does allow refugees to work, so the United Nations must continue to ship over 5,000 tons of food each month, mainly rice and beans, to this inhospitable stretch of desert. Currently, though, because of budget constraints, rations in Dadaab have been cut by 30%.

And the numbers of these refugees is growing not only because of a world in terrible, terrible turmoil, but because whole generations are growing up in camps after camps after camps.

Gaza is perhaps the best example of this. The eight original refugee camps have morphed into towns that, together, are now one of the most densely populated areas in the world, home to  1.7 million people. Separate from the U.N.H.C.R and with a different mandate-

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East was founded in 1949 for around  750,000 Arab Palestinians forced to flee their homes in 1948.

But with no peace deal or return in sight, the agency looks after their five million descendants at a cost to the international community of over $ 1 billion a year. The agency was supposed to be an exception  but Gaza now looks like the rule.

In Dadaab, the United Nations resettles around 2,000 refugees annually to Europe, Australia and Canada and the United States. But the birthrate in the camp will always outstrip that effort.

As refugee population spiral higher, host nations usually move towards ever stricter encampment policies. Kenya is one of the strictest; last year the police rounded up thousands of refugees found outside designated camps and incarcerated them in the national stadium.

With respectful dedication to the United Nations, to all the Leaders of the Free World,  and to all the refugees in the World. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Raise All Honours '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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