On International World Refugee Day

by Lina Koch,  2013/06/20

A new UN report confirms what humedica volunteers have been describing for a long time: The number of refugees worldwide has been and still is alarming. According to UNHCR , 45.2 million people fled their homes in 2012. Their number has not been that high for almost two decades and the situation is not expected to improve in the near future.

A narrow majority of 55 per cent had to leave their homes due to violent conflicts. A large number of refugees came from the conflict areas in Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria.

Most of the remaining 45 per cent of refugees came from crisis-ridden countries in Africa like Sudan or the Democratic Republic of Congo. On the whole, 87 per cent of the refugees in 2012 were staying in developing countries, which made the situation even worse.

According to further UNHCR figures, 45 million of the refugees had fled to a different country while 28.8 million of them were internally displaced in their home country.

930.000 persons sought asylum in the course of 2012. A particularly tragic fact is that 46 per cent of the refugees in 2012 were children.

Given that there seems to be no end in sight to the current conflict in Syria, the United Nations do not expect the situation to improve this year. In fact, the number of Syrian external refugees is expected to rise from 1.6 to 3.45 million by the end of 2013.

The number of internally displaced persons, 4.25 mio people, is alarming by now. Apart from that, the UNHCR addresses an additional problem: more and more children have to flee the violence in their home countries totally on their own.

Currently, humedica is providing emergency relief to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and is sharing the concern of the United Nations. The number of people seeking shelter in makeshift camps is rising daily so that the medical teams working on site are faced with countless people needing help.

Dr. Ingeborg Olzowy worked with humedica in the Bekaa Valley in the east of Lebanon. In a letter to her German home country, she describes the conditions prevailing in the Syrian refugee camps. Conditions which, in view of the UN report, will probably remain unchanged for a long time yet. Conditions that are characterized by fear, poverty and illness.

Dear friends and sponsors, the living conditions of these people, who have been uprooted from their homes by a violent conflict, are precarious. Please continue to support our aid work in Lebanon by means of a specific donation. Thank you so much!

      humedica e. V.
      Reference ”Syrian Refugees”
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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