Today is World Refugee Day, a day created by the United Nations in 2000 to bring awareness to the more than 45 million people who have been displaced internally or across borders from their homes forcibly. Based on numbers released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees a person becomes a refugee, loses everything and is forced to flee every minute. In Syria where a civil war is ravaging the country, there are now over 750,000 refugees and 1.1 million new refugees worldwide this year alone.
“There are now more than 45 million refugees and internally displaced people – the highest level in nearly 20 years,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a special message for the day. “Figures give only a glimpse of this enormous human tragedy. Every day, conflict tears apart the lives of thousands of families. They may be forced to leave loved ones behind or become separated in the chaos of war.”
The graph below from Thomson Reuters shows the number of refugees overall as well as the countries that have the largest number of refugees. The infographic also shows the countries where most refugees head once they leave their homelands.
On Monday at the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland President Obama pledged increased monetary resources to aid Syrian refugees. A total of $300 million will go towards humanitarian efforts in Syria as well as neighboring Lebanon. Nearly 900,00 children are refugees in Syria according to UNICEF. In 2012 6 million internally displaced people lived in the Middle East and North Africa. Most refugees live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Today events commemorating World Refugee Day took place all over the world from concerts to art exhibits. Click here to learn more about World Refuge Day.
Yesterday’s Global Development Outlook panel at the World Economic Forum included William H. Gates III, David Cameron, Ban Ki-moon, Paul Polman, Helene D. Gayle, H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and Rwanda President Paul Kagame.
Last Friday France began strategic airstrikes in northern Mali against rebel groups that have crippled the government since the early part of last year. France has said its intervention will be swift. The United States has already given its support to France saying it will provide intelligence and overhead surveillance according to NBC News. Britain has also pledged its support with logistical assistance.
The United Nations’ Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, was briefed about the situation on the ground in Mali last Saturday by the President of Côte d’Ivoire and Chair of ECOWAS, Mr. Alassane Ouattara. And on January 10, Mohammad Masood Khan Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN and President of the Security Council for the month of January, spoke to journalists following closed-door Council consultations on the situation in Mali (above).
“These latest events underscore the urgency of implementing all aspects of the resolution, including support to ECOWAS mediation efforts, the development of a consensual roadmap for the transition and provision of support to AFISMA and the Malian defence forces, said the Secretary-General.
Due to the fighting a humanitarian crisis will undoubtedly grow. The World Food Programme has already said it is prepared to provide food assistance to hundreds of thousands of displaced persons who flee the fighting. And the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said over 300,000 people are spilling over the borders in Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The UNHCR has launched an appeal to the public to help as many people as possible.
Follow the most recent news about Mali on Twitter at #Mali.
If you follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) you know there are a variety of global datasets that sometimes are in concert with one another and other times contradict one another. It is important to know the critical datasets to zero in on in order to analyze the progress of the MDGs.
If you’re interested in following the key data be sure to check out the article above. Also, they have provided data that you can mash up and share as well.
Meningitis Vaccination Campaign Takes Off in Darfur
A child receives a meningitis vaccination at the Al Neem Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in El Daein, East Darfur, Sudan.
A major vaccination campaign against meningitis A, organized by the Government of Sudan and the World Health Organization (WHO), debuted earlier this month and targets 16.9 million children and adults across Darfur. The vaccine protects young adults and children as young as one, conferring immunity that could last a decade. WHO estimates that their efforts could reduce cases of meningitis A between 80 and 85% and save nearly 150,000 young lives by 2015.