By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried | 13 June, 2018
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Assault on Yemen port city of Hudaydah begins. The BBC and Reuters report that rebel positions were being bombardedfrom the air and sea early this morning while troops massed south of the city. The United Arab Emirates, part of a Saudi-led coalition that backs the Yemeni government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, had earlier given Houthi rebels a final ultimatum to withdraw or face attack. Aid agencies have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe if the city is attacked, with up to a quarter of a million casualties. The port is also the main entry point for humanitarian aid into Yemen. On Tuesday, UNICEF’s Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, said that any attack on Hudaydah would deepen one of the world’s worst malnutrition crises and put the lives of an estimated 300,000 children living in the city at risk.
As tensions over migrant rescue boat flare, UNHCR chief calls for unity. While regional authorities in Valencia, Spain prepare to receive hundreds of refugees and migrants rescued by the Aquarius ship who were refused permission to disembark in Italy, an Italian coast guard vessel with 937 people on board was allowed to dock in Catania, Sicily this morning. In a statement on Tuesday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi urged European countries to work together on coherent asylum policies. “We need solidarity and cooperation, not responsibility-shifting,” he said.
WHAT’S ON OUR RADAR
EU seeks to almost triple budget for migration and border management. In a proposal issued on Tuesday, the European Commission called for a major funding increase in the 2021 to 2027 budget in response to “increased migratory, mobility and security challenges”. The Commission proposed allocating €21.3 billion of the suggested budget of €34.9 billion to border management, including setting up a new Integrated Border Management Fund to strengthen Europe’s external borders. The proposed budget would also increase funding for the Asylum and Migration Fund. “Bigger challenges need bigger resources,” said the EU’s Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos.
Asylum-seekers at US-Mexico border told to wait. The New York Times reports that increasing numbers of asylum-seekers from Central America, many of them children, are sleeping near border crossings, waiting for their turn to be admitted into the United States from Mexico. Customs and Border Protection officials are only allowing those with valid entry documents to approach border stations, while those without documents are being scheduled for processing “once space becomes available”, according to an agency spokesperson. Some Central American families told the Times they had been sleeping on the pavement near the Nogales border crossing for nearly two weeks.
Poverty forcing more Syrian refugee children in Lebanon into work. According to research by the Danish Refugee Council, the proportion of Syrian child refugees working in Lebanon has risen from 4 per cent in late 2016 to 7 per cent . The aid group blamed the rise on worsening poverty among Syrian refugees living in Lebanon. In a statement released on World Day Against Child Labour on Tuesday, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization also said that Syrian refugee families in Lebanon were resorting to child labour to survive. FAO said agricultural jobs such as harvesting potatoes and working in green houses exposed children to multiple hazards and risks.
Spiral of violence in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions ‘increasingly deadly’. A report by Amnesty International details the crisis gripping the North West and South West regions of the country since September last year. More than 150,000 people have been internally displaced by violence while another 20,400 have sought refuge in Nigeria.
Alya al-Balky, a Syrian refugee living in Jordan, volunteers her time to help other refugees like herself who have disabilities. This short film follows her during a typical day as she spends time with Mohammed, who uses a wheelchair since being struck in the back by shrapnel, and 7-year-old Safa. “I love Auntie Alya from the bottom of my heart,” says Safa. “She taught me that my leg disability won’t hold me back.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Around 2,700 families have been displaced since the offensive on Hudaydah started.