By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried | 7 February, 2018
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Armed groups block return of displaced in Libya. Tens of thousands of residents of the Libyan city of Tawergha, who were forced to leave their homes during the 2011 uprising, were meant to start returning last week under an agreement struck between Libya’s Government of National Accord and Misrata city officials. But when a convoy of residents tried to approach the town, they were halted by armed men . Since 1 February, they have been stranded in a desert area near Bani Walid. Reuters explains that Tawergha was used by supporters of former president Muammar Gaddafi to attack nearby Misrata during the war. Misrata forces then emptied the city of its inhabitants, who have lived in poor conditions in camps ever since. UNHCR said on Sunday that it had delivered “much needed emergency relief” to 5,000 of those stranded in the desert.
Burundi’s forgotten crisis. Since 2015, more than 400,000 people have fled human rights abuses and political instability in Burundi, including over 61,000 who arrived in neighbouring countries last year. A further 50,000 are expected to flee this year as the country’s political uncertainty and related humanitarian crisis continues. And yet, the international community has paid little attention to the crisis. On Tuesday, UNHCR launched an appeal for more support for Burundian refugees living in Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and several other countries in the region. Current under-funding has impacted aid agencies’ ability to deliver food, education, adequate shelters and livelihood opportunities.
WHAT’S ON OUR RADAR
Syrians returning to Raqqa face ‘extreme’ threat from landmines. Large numbers of unexploded landmines left by ISIS fighters are causing 50 to 70 casualties a week as tens of thousands of Syrians return to the ruins of Raqqa. The UN is advising people against returning to homes which could contain unexploded ordnance, but cannot prevent them from doing so, Panos Moumtzis, the UN’s regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, told reporters.
Efforts to contain diphtheria outbreak in Rohingya camps ramp up. As of 3 February, there had been more than 5,200 reported cases of the highly infectious respiratory disease and 37 deaths, according to latest update from the World Health Organization. A second vaccination campaign targeting more than 200,000 Rohingya children is underway. UNHCR reports that voluntary community health workers, most of them registered refugees themselves, are going from shelter to shelterto look for signs of diphtheria and other diseases and to refer potential cases to health facilities.
Syrians’ temporary status in Germany divides families. Since March 2016, most Syrians arriving in German have received subsidiary protection rather than full refugee status. Although it comes with the same rights to work and study, it’s a temporary form of protection that must be renewed annually. Those with subsidiary protection also currently can’t apply for family members to join them in Germany. This report for Refugees Deeply examines how the temporary nature of this form of protection hangs over one Syrian family trying to forge a future for themselves in rural Germany.
Italy’s election of fear. Ferruccio Pastore writes that the outcome of next month’s election in Italy hangs in no small part on how the Italian public reacts to a violent anti-migrant backlash that culminated last week in the drive-by shooting of six African migrants by a failed candidate for the right-wing Northern League party. Pastore notes that levels of public anxiety about migrants and asylum-seekers often don’t correlate with arrival numbers but have more to do with perceptions of the threat they pose.
The Goldhills, a devout Jewish family in Cambridge, England, have opened their home to Faraj, a young Muslim from Syria. In this short film, it’s clear that Faraj is more than a temporary guest – he’s become part of the family.
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2017 only 21 per cent of the funds needed to respond to Burundi’s refugee crisis were raised, making it the world’s least funded refugee response plan.