By Kristy Siegfried | 7 August, 2019
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Cyprus asks Brussels to relocate 5,000 asylum-seekers. Politico reports that in a letter sent to the European Commission on Monday, Cyprus’ Interior Minister, Constantinos Petrides, urged EU Member States to submit pledges for relocating 5,000 asylum-seekers from the island nation, which has seen a sharp increase in the number of asylum-seekers and migrants arriving over the last two years and now has the EU’s highest number of first-time asylum applicants per capita. Petrides wrote that there had been a 130 per cent increase in arrivals in the first six months of 2019. Cyprus Mail reports that in the letter, Petrides said Cyprus had exhausted its reception capacity. “We are at risk of not being able to help those who are really in need of protection,” he said.
Militant groups step up attacks in Yemen. At least 19 civilians have died as a result of attacks in various parts of Yemen over the past 10 days, according to the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), which yesterday described recent developments in the country as “deeply worrying”. While fighting between Houthi and government forces claimed several casualties in Taiz, armed groups affiliated with Al Qaeda and ISIS have carried out a series of attacks in the south of the country. In apparent retaliation for those attacks, OHCHR said that security forces were rounding up civilians from northern Yemen and forcibly displacing them to other areas. Also on Tuesday, Yemeni officials said several days of heavy rain had caused flood waters to sweep through camps for displaced people in Al-Hudaydah province, flooding dozens of tents and leaving people stranded.
WHAT’S ON OUR RADAR
Libya intercepts three boats carrying 122 people. Libya’s coast guard said yesterday that it had intercepted 122 people off the coast of the capital, Tripoli, in three operations on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. A spokesperson said the refugees and migrants were given humanitarian and medical aid before being taken to detention centres in Tripoli. UNHCR has repeatedly raised concerns about the arbitrary detention of people returned to Libya after being rescued at sea and is calling for no one to be returned there and for the closure of detention centres. “The extremely volatile security situation, ongoing conflict, widespread reports of human rights violations and routine use of arbitrary detention for people disembarked back to Libya underline the fact that it is not a viable place of safety,” said spokesperson Charlie Yaxley yesterday.
Refugees in Malawi face dwindling food rations. In a statement on Tuesday, the UN’s World Food Programme said it was deeply concerned about the worsening food situation for some 40,000 refugees and asylum-seekers living in Malawi’s Dzaleka refugee camp. In May this year, lack of funding forced the WFP to halve the food rations it provides to the refugees. WFP warned that without more support from donors, its maize stocks would run out in December, while supplies of other foods would be depleted by October. With limited access to land for farming or other means to earn a living in the camp, eight of 10 refugees in Dzaleka are entirely dependent on food assistance, according to a joint survey conducted by WFP and UNHCR last November.
Rescue boat workers prepare for trauma ahead. The Ocean Viking, a new vessel jointly operated by Médecins Sans Frontières and SOS Méditerranée, is on its way this week to international waters off the Libyan coast to carry out its first search-and-rescue mission. Before setting off from the French port of Marseille on Sunday, the Ocean Viking’s crew received psychological counselling and support to prepare them for the potential trauma of sea rescues. Marie Rajablat, a psychiatric nurse who worked on the charities’ previous search-and-rescue vessel, the Aquarius, has assembled a team of about 15 people to help prepare the crews of rescue boats. She talked to AFP about some of the situations they may encounter.
German employment agency “satisfied” with refugees’ integration into job market. About 36 per cent of adult refugees in Germany are currently working and the figure is expected to rise to about 40 per cent – equivalent to nearly 400,000 employees – by the autumn, according to the Institute for Employment Research (often referred to by its German acronym, IAB), the research arm of Germany’s Federal Employment Agency. Herbert Brücker, head of international labour market research at the institute, told German media he was “quite satisfied, especially since the starting conditions for the refugees in 2015 were particularly difficult”. Many are employed as temporary workers on relatively low wages, but about 50 per cent are working in skilled professions, which Brücker described as “surprisingly high” considering that only one in five refugees arrived with a vocational qualification or university degree.
These girls, all displaced by conflict, talked to photographer Vincent Tremeau about how they picture their future selves. Many of them then posed for their portraits with home-made props or costumes to signify their dream professions as doctors, teachers, lawyers, engineers, artists, journalists and football players.
DID YOU KNOW?
In the past year, 335 children have died in fighting across Yemen.