[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the topic of refugees, migrants, and IDPs and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Refugees and Migrants Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. It is updated monthly. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to email@example.com.]
Latest Developments (COVID-19)
On COVID vaccinations for refugees, will the world live up to its promises?
The New Humanitarian describes the looming issue of low COVID-19 vaccination rates for refugees across the globe. Major obstacles include a backlog in COVAX vaccine pledges to developing countries, in which 85% of refugees reside. When vaccines become more available, officials worry that logistical oversights with national vaccination campaigns, misinformation, mistrust of government, and social marginalization will prevent high vaccination rates for refugees in the long run.
Assessing the Socio-Economic Impact of Covid-19 on Migrants and Displaced Populations in the MENA Region
IOM published a report claiming to be the most comprehensive assessment of the effects of COVID-19 on migrants and refugees in the MENA region. The report found that healthcare has become disproportionately less accessible to refugees and migrants during the pandemic. COVID-19 has also inhibited refugees’ access to basic goods, employment, protection, and freedom of movement.
Palestinians cancel deal for near-expired COVID vaccines from Israel
Reuters reported that the Palestinian Authority canceled a COVID-19 vaccine shipment from Israel after discovering that the vaccines in transit were due to expire in June, instead of the promised July/August timeline. Palestinian officals stated that they could not distribute the vaccines by the end of the month, so they were forced to cancel the order.
The European Union supports UNRWA Preparedness and Response to COVID-19 in the occupied West Bank
UNRWA thanked the EU for its pledge of USD4 million last year to combat the pandemic. USD1 million of this funding supported initiatives in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Due to the funding, UNRWA was able to deliver health services to all 19 Palestinian refugee camps, provide its staff and clients with adequate PPE, hire 50 more temporary doctors, and service 858,000 refugees through 43 UNWRA clinics in the West Bank.
UAE launches second phase of vaccination programme for Syrian refugees in Jordan
The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) announced that it began its second round of COVID-19 vaccinations for Syrian refugees in Jordan on June 14. The campaign aims to vaccinate 12,000 refugees in the refugee camps of Mrajeeb Al Fhood, Zaatari, Al Azraq and Al Hadiqa. ERC began the campaign three weeks prior.
Lebanon: Assessing the Socioeconomic Impact of COVID-19 on Forcibly Displaced Populations (April)
UNHCR published a report on the impact of COVID-19 on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, finding that the compounded political and financial crisis has contributed to the negative effects of the pandemic. The report found that Syrian refugees lost income opportunities in 2020, raising the community’s unemployment rate to around 40%. Extreme poverty within the community rose to 89% compared to 55% prior to the pandemic. In response, UNHCR has provided cash-based assistance to address immediate needs for Syrian refugees.
Vaccinating Refugees: Lessons from the Inclusive Lebanon Vaccine Roll-Out Experience
The World Bank published a story documenting the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Lebanon. From the beginning, the Lebanese government established a national plan to reach all categories of residents. The campaign highlights the need for clear national vaccination plans for refugees, addressing bottlenecks for vulnerable populations’ access, and building public vaccine confidence.
مفوضيةاللاجئينتدعولتلقيحأكثرمن 4 ملايينشخصمنعديميالجنسيةفي 94 دولة
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned that stateless refugees, who are at least 4.2 million and live in 94 countries, are at risk of being excluded from the vaccine rollout across the world. This is due to their lack of nationality and proof of identity. The United Nations recommended that everyone should be able to get vaccinations and called on countries to make special efforts to reach these groups.
Death toll from recent capsizing off Yemen may have been 300-U.N. official
Earlier this month, many bodies were found washed up on the shore at Ras al-Arah on Yemen’s Red Sea. Reuters reported that the U.N. estimates that 200 to 300 migrants perished in the shipwreck.
أنباءعنوفاة 18 مهاجراسوريابعدغرققاربهمقبالةالسواحلالليبية
According to Alarm Phone, 18 Syrians died in a shipwreck off Libya heading to the coast of Italy on the 21st of June. The boat was carrying 50 refugees from many nationalities inlcuding Syrian, Palestinian, Somali, and Yemeni. Around 675 people have died since the beginning of the year while trying to cross the sea. Non-governmental organizations denounced Europe’s "closed border policy", and stressed that Libya is not a safe port for migrants, as they are subjected to grave violations in detention centers.
IOM and UNHCR join efforts and sign a Memorandum of Understanding in Tunisia
IOM and UNHCR signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the 8th of June to establish a framework for collaboration and coordination between the two agencies in Tunisia. Cooperation will strengthen areas such as provision of humanitarian assistance, timely identification of internetal protection needs, development of protection pathways, protection of victims of trafficking and children, and voluntary return of migrants.
UNICEF welcomes US$200,000 contribution from AGFUND to support children in the State of Palestine
According to UNICEF, the Arab Gulf Program for Development announced a $200,000 contribution to UNICEF’s mental health and psychological programs for children in the Gaza Strip. Even before the recent attacks on Gaza, one in three children needed health and psychological support. Recent escalations of hostilities have significantly impacted the health and wellbeing of children in the region, making it so that an estimated 250,000 children need mental health support.
حوالي 3000 مهاجرمازالوامتواجدينفيجيبسبتةوالسلطاتتحذرمن "كارثةإنسانية"
The Spanish authorities announced that 12,000 moved to Ceuta, an autonomous Spanish city, in one day in May. By the 17th of June , 3000, of which 830 are minors, had stayed in the region and are jeopardizing the living conditions of Ceuta’s residents. Most refugees came from the Moroccan border of Ceuta. The Spanish government warns of a humanitarian crisis looming in Ceuta.
South Sudan: New Financing to Address Acute Food Insecurity and Desert Locust Crisis
According to the World Bank, South Sudan will benefit from two new projects that aim to strengthen the capacity of farmers, improve agricultural production, and restore food security. The project will total $116 million consisting of $62.5 million for the South Sudan Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods Project and $53.7 million for the Emergency Locust Response Project which will support South Sudan’s desert locus response.
U.N. chief warns no Syria cross-border aid would be 'devastating'
Reuters reported that Secretary General Antonio Guterres appealed to the UNSC this month to renew the cross-border aid operation into Syria for another year. Russian and Syrian representatives have expressed opposition to the appeal at odds to the U.S. and other Western nations. The current operation expires July 10.
لتلبيةاحتياجاتسوقالعملالأوروبية.. المفوضيةتطلقمبادرةلجذبالمهاجرين "بشكلقانوني"
The European Commission approved an initiative to attract talented immigrants to meet the needs of the European labor market. The Commission stressed that there is a need to replace illegal migration paths with legal ones to meet Europeans strategic goals of addressing the skills shortage in Europe. The EU will implement this project by creating partnerships with key regions and stakeholders.
Syria: Russian veto would shut down last aid lifeline
According to HRW, millions of Syrians risk losing access to lifesaving aid if Russia vetoes the reauthorization of the only remaining UN aid corridor from Turkey to northwest Syria. Around 4 million Syrians and at least 2.6 million displaced people rely on humanitarian aid in northwest Syria. COVID-19 vaccine doses cross into Syria through the Bab al-Hawa crossing. The UN stated that it is unclear how vaccines can reach the region without the crossing.
A large number of refugee athletes were able to secure a chance to compete in the Olympics held in Tokyo. The team is made of 29 refugees of which seven of the athletes are originally from Syria and currently live in Germany. The athletes include Alaa Massu and Yusra Mardini, two swimmers who trained in Germany and are originally from Syria. The UNHCR stated that the team sends a strong signal of hope and draws attention to the fate of 80 million displaced people around the world.
Theirworld and partners launch MyBestStart project for children in Lebanon
Theirworld launched MyBestStart, a project aimed at providing access to quality early childhood education for thousands of vulnerable children in Lebanon. The project will target 4,000 children at home and in early childhood education centers, 50 teachers, and parents. The project will train teachers on blended learning techniques and parents on providing support during online education.
North Africa: EU mobilises €20 million in humanitarian aid for vulnerable populations
According to ECHO, the Commission for Crisis Management at the EU announced €20 million in humanitarian funding for Algeria, Egypt, and Libya. The funding will support Sahrawi refugees in Algeria with food, nutrition, and water. It will also support vulnerable people in Libya with access to healthcare, education, and shelter. Lastly, around €5 million will be allocated to vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in Egypt.
World Bank Approves $50 Million to Continue Improving Critical Urban Services in Yemen
The World Bank approved a $50 million grant from the International Development Association, WBG’s fund for the poorest countries, to support Yemen Integrated Urban Services Emergency Project. The financing will restore access to critical urban services and strengthen the resilience of cities in Yemen. The past six years of conflict have destroyed the urban infrastructure. The damage in 16 cities covered by WBG is estimated at $6.9 billion. The project has already built 234 kilometers of roads in eight cities as well as installed water wells and 208 health and education facilities.
Emergency Grant Aid for Palestine affected by the deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip
The Government of Japan decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of $10 million for the Gaza Strip after recent attacks by the Israeli government. The grant will help with reconstruction such as provision of food, debris removal, water, sanitation, and medical care. The aid will be provided through UNRWA, UNDP, ICRC, and OCHA.
صندوققطرللتنميةيواصلدعمبرنامجالأونرواالصحيفيسوريةبتبرعٍ مسبقمقداره 5 مليوندولارأمريكي | الأونروا
The Qatar Fund for Development continues to provide support for UNRWA through a donation of $5 million to support the Agency’s health program in Syria. Palestinian refugees face many challenges after the conflict in Syria inclding deaths, injuries, displacement, and migration. The Agency provides health care services such as consultations, vaccinations, medication, care for chronic diseases, and child health care through 25 clinics and 2 mobile clinics.
Protecting Human Capital in Yemen: US$150 million in grants for health, nutrition, and water and sanitation services
According to the World Bank, $150 million were approved in grants to increase access to basic health, nutrition, water and sanitation services in Yemen which has been in conflict since 2015. By the end of 2020, the death toll had reached 233,000 people. Half of these deaths were caused by a lack of food, infrastructure, and access to healthcare. Around 20 million of the total 29 million population of Yemen face food insecurity and are at risk of malnutrition. The new grant will help preserve the institutions that provide access to health, nutrition, water, and sanitation.
البحريةالتونسيةتنفذثلاثعملياتإنقاذفيالمتوسطلنحو 180 مهاجراانطلقوامنزوارةالليبية
The Tunisian navy carried out three separate rescue operations on June 27th where they rescued 178 migrants who were on their way to Europe. The migrants left off the coast of Zuwara, a Libyan city. The Ministry of Defense indicated that two bodies were found and recovered in the rescue operations. The migrants had originally come from Egypt, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Syria, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Mali, and Ethiopia. Their ages ranged between 15 and 51 years.
IOM and UNHCR Condemn the Return of Migrants and Refugees to Libya
UNHCR and IOM confirmed that a commercial ship, the Vos Triton, sailing under the flag of Gibraltar, picked up over 270 Europe-bound migrants off the coast of Libya on June 15. The migrants were handed over to the Libyan coast guard and sent to a migrant detention center. IOM and UNHCR reiterated that “no one should be returned to Libya after being rescued at sea. Under international maritime law, rescued individuals should be disembarked at a place of safety.”
Qatar Fund for Development, Ooredoo Group and UNICEF signs a strategic partnership agreement to support millions of children’s lives around the world
According to UNICEF, Qatar Fund for Development and Ooredoo Group have signed a strategic partnership to support children’s rights in countries where Oreedo operates such as Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Tunisia, Algeria, Indonesia, Iraq, Myanmar, and the Maldives. The partnership will ensure supporting a global vaccine roll-out, improving formal and informal education, and empowering adolescents.
Italy announces humanitarian corridor to bring 500 migrants from Libya
InfoMigrants reported that Italy is to sign a protocol to bring 500 migrants from Libya to Italy. The accord will be managed with the UNHCR and Rome's Community of Sant'Egidio and the Waldensians in order to facilitate best practices for this humanitarian corridor.
الأونرواتطلقنداءللمساعدةالإنسانيةوالتعافيالمبكرمنأجلغزةبمبلغ 164 مليوندولار | الأونروا
UNRWA launched a $164 million humanitarian and early recovery appeal following the attacks on Gaza during May 2021. UNRWA has already made an appeal on May 19th for $38 million. The Agency states that airstrikes caused extensive damage to the infrastructure, homes, water, and sanitation in the region and in refugee camps. Around 71,000 became displaced after the destruction of their homes but 7,500 refugees remain displaced until now. The appeal will repair UNRWA shelters and facilities as well as fund temporary rental subsidies for Palestinian families needing shelter.
Jordan: Remote working opens up new job opportunities for refugees
Finn Church Aid (FRA) announced that young residents of the Zaatari refugee camp will have the opportunity to participate in remote information and communication technology (ICT) entrepreneurship training. 45 residents will receive training for freelance ICT jobs, and then the 15 most engaged participants will receive mentorship from internationally assembled ICT, marketing and HR professionals. The program is funded and managed by FCA and Startup Refugees.
Funding crunch forces WFP to scale back food assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan
The World Food Program (WFP) announced that 21,000 Syrian refugees will no longer receive their monthly food assistance starting in July due to funding cuts. The agency is appealing for USD58 million to continue food assistance for the rest of 2021 to the 500,000 refugees it currently supports. Refugees experiencing food insecurity in Jordan doubled to 25% since 2020.
Iraq: IDPs - Civil & Identity Documentation (May 2021)
UNHCR published a brief on its efforts in cooperation with the Iraqi government and civil society partners to provide IDPs and returnees with appropriate civil documentation. Lack of civil documentation is a significant barrier for some IDPs and returnees in the country, as such papers are required to access basic services, education, healthcare, and freedom of movement. In May 2021, UNHCR and its partners provided legal counsel and assistance to 3,464 individuals and assisted in issuing 8,076 civil documents.
Islamic Relief increases support in Gaza as families are left in urgent need of aid
Islamic Relief announced that 60 of its staff were deployed in the Gaza to provide displaced families with essential supplies and shelter following recent bombings. The organization has distributed 1,200 one-month food vouchers, 110 bed sets, healthcare and repairs for their homes.
QRCS hands over new housing units to displaced families in Yemen
Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) announced that it handed over 224 housing units to the Abs District, Hajjah Governorate of Yemen for IDPs. The local authority of Abs stated that this housing would protect against changing weather and are environmentally sustainable, which will greatly benefit the local community. QRCS is currently working on two other housing projects in the country, totalling 580 housing units in the governorates of Raymah, Al Hudaydah, Taiz, and Hadhramaut.
Syria aid shifts to seeds, sheep and recovery - Red Cross Federation
Reuters reported that the Red Cross is shifting aid from direct humanitarian work, like medicine and food distribution, to small agricultural projects to help Syrian families make a sustainable living while the shattered economy rebuilds. Some Western donors expressed reluctance to support reconstruction under Assad, but these concerns have not significantly affected Red Cross initiatives.
Syrian Arab Republic: Euphrates water crisis & drought outlook (17 June 2021)
OCHA published an outlook on water availability in Syria and Iraq, citing critical low rainfall in the Eastern Mediterranean basin for drought conditions in the two countries. Waterflow from the Euphrates River has decreased consistently over the last six months. This drought harms electricity production at the Tishreen and Tabqa Dams, causing occasional blackouts across northeastern Syria. The drought is also causing a significant drop in barley production and other public health concerns.
Education Above All Foundation and SPARK Celebrate Milestone of 10,000 Scholarships for Syrian Refugees and Vulnerable Youth
Education Above All’s (EAA) Al Fakhoora program and NGO SPARK announced that they have awarded 10,000 scholarships to Syrian refugees, internally displaced and vulnerable host community youth in their efforts for youth job creation in Syria.
البابا: "البحرالمتوسطأكبرمقبرةفيأوروبا" وتوقعاتبزيادةأعدادالمهاجرينعبرهإلىأربعةأضعاف!
Pope Francis stated while commemorating migrants who died on their way to Europe that the Mediterranean sea has turned into the largest cemetery in Europe. The Pope called for a need to find a solution to migrant deaths. His statement comes at a time when the UNHCR expects the number of migrants to rise more than it already has been for the past four years. The main reason for the increase in the number of migrants is the poor conditions in Libya.
Lasers and flaming torches light up battle over new Israeli settlement
Reuters reported on Palestinian "Night Disruption" protests south of Nablus against the construction of 53 Israeli houses in a settler outpost. Israeli troops have fatally shot five Palestinians since the settlement, called Givat Eviatar, was built. The night protests began mid June and continue nightly.
UAE: Arbitrary Targeting of Pakistani Shia Residents
Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced that the UAE has forcibly disappeared at least four Pakistani men and groundlessly deported six since September 2020. All ten are Shia Muslim men who had lived in the country for years. The men were not provided any legal counsel, their relatives are unaware of their whereabouts, and officials refuse to acknowledge the arrests.
EU greenlights major funding plan for refugees in Turkey
AP News reported that the EU greenlighted €3 billion in funding for Turkey to provide assistance to Syrian refugees in the country and secure its borders. The EU stated that funding to Turkey has been highly efficient in the past, and that this next iteration of funding should support the country until 2024.
Iraq: Inadequate Plans for Camp Closures
HRW published an article on how the Iraqi government’s closure of IDP camps has left 34,801 persons without essential services or alternative housing. Only two camps remain open in Baghdad controlled territory, and they are set to close. The Iraqi government currently plans to return displaced Iraqis to their homes, but this goal is incompatible with the administration hurdles at providing civil documents and protecting against the COVID pandemic.
Around 60 people demonstrated on June 26th in the city of Calais in Northern France to protest the government’s decision to ban the distribution of food to immigrants in some parts of the city. Associations and non-governmental organizations demanded an end to the decision which excludes immigrants from benefiting from services that they offer. Auberge des Migrants, an organization based in Calais that supports refugees, stated that the decision “tramples on the principle of fraternity” by attempting to exhaust migrants physically and psychologically.
باريس: 300 مهاجريفترشونساحةمبنىالبلديةلمطالبةالدولةبإيجادسكنلهم
As a method to pressure the French state to provide housing for refugees, around 300 refugees including families, children, and women camped outside of the municipality building in Paris on the 24th of June. The protest was done with the help of Utopia 56, an organization that rallys for refugee rights in France. This is the second time this protest has happened. The previous one was last September and the authorities moved the protesters within 2 hours.
Syrians return to camps seeking aid as economic crash bites
The New Humanitarian reported an increased demand from Syrians to return to IDP camps. In 2020, around 467,000 Syrian IDPs returned to their place of origin. However, the Syrian economy greatly struggles after a decade of war; the currency continues to depreciate and food prices soar. The UN estimates that some 630,000 Syrians are displaced in northeast Syria. There are 15,000 Syrians on waitlists to rejoin regional camps or receive aid from them. Aid officials say the unprecedented rise in voluntary camp returns began about six months ago due to a failing economy.
Inside the troubled repatriation of Iraqis from Syria’s al-Hol camp
The New Humanitarian reported that over 380 Iraqis were repatriated from al-Hol to Jeddah I camp and Qayara, Nineveh governorate this May. The local Iraqi governments and their constitutions expressed loud opposition to the move due to the association of al-Hol with former Islamic State (ISIS) supporters. The 500 families cleared to return to Iraq are believed to be from before the area became an ISIS stronghold and do not have strong ISIS connections. However, the New Humanitarian found that local Iraqis were not briefed on these families’ situations.
Israeli police targeted Palestinians with discriminatory arrests, torture and unlawful force
Amnesty International found that the Isreali police conducted sweeping arrests of Palestinian activists, used unlawful force against Palestinian protestors, tortured Palestinians detainees, and failed to protect Palestinians from Jewish supremacist attacks. Amnesty leadership stated that this evidence exhibits clear discrimination against Palestinians and excessive police force.
‘Syria’s Palestinians: A new Nakba’
The European Network on Statelessness reported that Palestinian refugees are the most severly impacted group in the Syrian conflict. The conflict represents a secondary forced displacement for Palestinians in Syria. Legal vulnerabilities as stateless people make it more difficult for Palestinians to migrate and flee dangerous situations.
Israeli army shutdown of health organization will have catastrophic consequences for Palestinian healthcare
According to Amnesty International, the Israeli authorities’ decision to shut down the Palestinian Health Work Committees (HWC), one of the main providers of health services in the Occupied Palestinian territories, will have a catastrophic consequences on the health needs of Palestinians. HWC runs hospitals, health clinics and provides medical care to marginalized communities. Israeli forces recently raided the organization’s HQ and confiscated their computers and memory drives. Amnesty states that Israel has an obligation to protect the rights of all Palestinians and that includes their health. They called on Israel to immediately rescind the shutdown order and put an end to the harassment of health workers.
Libya fails to stop migrant detention abuses, as EU-backed returns soar
The New Humanitarian reported on the collaboration between the EU and Libyan coast guard in perpetuating migrant abuses in detention centers. The coast guard has intercepted 13,000 asylum seekers and migrants at sea in 2021, which already exceeds the total number of migrants in 2020. Through EU funding and collaboration with the Libyan government, the EU is continuing the cycle of abuse, claims the agency.
Ongoing violence against detained migrants forces MSF to suspend Tripoli detention centre activities
On June 22, MSF reported that serious harm to refugees and migrants in the Mabani and Abu Salim detention centers in Tripoli, as well as related risks to the MSF staff, has forced the organization to suspend medical care in the area until further notice. The organization stated that it will not resume operations until the level of violence subsides.
A great unseen humanitarian crisis: Migrants and refugees in Yemen
OCHA published an article documenting the migration humanitarian crisis in Yemen through photographs and anecdotes of East African migrants traversing the country to Saudi Arabia for work. Despite awful conditions in Yemen, migrants continue to make the journey due to the dire economic situation at home and comparatively lucrative employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia. The article documents the work of IOM mobile teams that provide some supplies and medical care to these migrants upon their arrival to the coast of Yemen.
A new study done by Oxfam found that unaccompanied minor refugees in several European countries are at risk of displacement and deportation after reaching adulthood. Once young people reach the age of eighteen, unaccompanied minors lose the rights and protections they enjoyed as minors, making them vulnerable to homelessness, exploitation, abuse, and deportation. The study was done on unaccompanied minors reaching France, Greece, the Netherlands, and Ireland and found that there are no systematic plans to transition young people into adulthood.
I am here - Belonging and legal identity in the Arab Region: Ensuring that every child, woman and man belongs and has a legal identity
The League of Arab States and the UNHCR published a report advocating for statehood for all displaced persons in the Arab region as adopted in the Arab Declaration on Belonging and Legal Identity. The report covers historic nationality laws across the region as well as modern civil registration systems.
Foundations for building forward better: An Education Reform Path for Lebanon - Lebanon
According to the World Bank, human capital development in Lebanon is worryingly low, risking the future of generations of children. The Human Capital Index, which measures the future productivity of the labor force, indicates that children in Lebanon today will only reach 52% of their potential productivity as adults. The biggest contributor to the performance of the index are education outcomes which average at 6.3 years of actual learning at school which is 40% lower than the average. Political and social unrest contributes to the inefficient and inequitable education sector. Investment is urgently needed but what is more important is political will to improve the system.
Syria in the lead.. Euro-Med Monitor report: Widespread torture in the Arab region - Syrian Arab Republic
The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor called on Arab governments, especially the Syrian regime, to stop all forms of torture against prisoners and detainees. The Euro-Med Monitor based a report on 32 testimonies highlighting medthods of torture across nine Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Israel, and Palestine. Methods of torture include beating, slapping, kicking, suspension, electrocution, sexual torture, and rape as well as psychological torture. While Arab conuntries agreed to international standrads for investigation and accountability of torture, most of them do not respond to allegations of torture.
Child Marriage in the context of COVID-19: Analysis of Trends, Programming and Alternative Approaches in the MENA Region
UNICEF MENA and UNFPA Arab States Regional Office conducted a study on the impact of COVID-19 on child marriage in Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and Yemen. The report recommends enhancing anti-poverty initiatives, safeguarding girls' education, spreading awareness of the issue, and providing platforms for adolescents.
Iraq: COVID-19 mobility restrictions and public health measures (March-May)
IOM published a report on changes in freedom of movement during a recent upsurge of COVID cases across 31 points of entry (PoE) in Iraq. During the period from March to May 2021, 5 points were fully closed, 10 were partially open, 12 were open only for commercial traffic, and 4 were fully opened. For the open PoE, the Iraqi government requires face masks, hand sanitizer, and a negative PCR swab test for international travel.
Exiled At Home: Internal displacement resulted from the armed conflict in Iraq and its humanitarian consequences
The Euro-Mediteranean Human Rights Monitor published a report on the conditions of the nearly 1.2 million Iraqi IDPs. The report found that the majority of Iraqi IDPs are unable to return home, lack food and clean water, and face obstacles to health and education. Despite camp closures that began late 2017, IDPs cannot return to their places of origin due to destruction of their homes, security risks, and stigma against those with potential connections to IS.
Slipping Through The Cracks: The limitations of response in Palestinian communities in Lebanon
The Lebanon Humanitarian INGO Forum shared a brief on the humanitarian neglect of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The report identified three main challenges to aiding the Palestinian community: constrained funding, under-documented needs, and isolated response techniques. The brief offers extensive recommendations for donors, UNRWA, the Lebanese government, NGOs, and local Palestinians to improve stakeholder coordination and impact.
Hope under the rubble: the impact of Israel’s home demolition policy on Palestinian children and their families
Save the Children reported that four out of five children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem feel “abandoned by the world” following the destruction of their homes by Israeli authorities. These findings come as Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan face eviction from their homes, pending decisions by the Israeli Supreme Court. The report also found that 76% of caregivers felt powerless and shameful.
IOM Yemen: Situation Report (May)
IOM published a report on the humanitarian situation in Yemen in May 2021. Severe flooding in early May impacted 6,855 households, most of whom included IDPs in inadequate shelters. Over 2,650 households were displaced from Marib at the end of the month due to increased fighting. A total of 3,570 people were displaced during the month. Despite these conditions, IOM tracked 489 migrants who arrived in Yemen. Lacking basic services, food, and shelter, 311 of these migrants were safely returned to their countries of origin.
Benefits of mixed modality assistance for food security in Syria: Evidence from a pilot project in Damascus and Rural Damascus (2020)
The World Food Program (WFP) published a factsheet for its pilot study on mixed modality food assistance, which combines in-kind and cash-based transfers, in 7,000 vulnerable households. The study, conducted in 2020, found that around 70% beneficiaries remained food secure or marginally food secure during the pilot program. It found that the hybrid assistance shielded households from falling deeper into food insecurity, and recommended for the program to be expanded to target the most food insecure people.
Near East and North Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2020: Enhancing Resilience of Food Systems in the Arab States
According to UNICEF, a recent United Nations study indicates that hunger in the Arab region continues to rise, threatening the region’s efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The study highlights how undernutrition, overweight and obesity, and micronutrient deficiencies are increasing across the region because of vulnerable food systems. Around 22.5% of children under five are stunted, 9.2% wasted, and 9.9 were overweight. The region also recorded the second highest levels for adult obesity at 27%. Conflicts, population growth, migration, and dependency on food imports are exacerbating the situation.
Quantifying climate change-relevant humanitarian programming and spending across five countries with high vulnerability to disaster
This study tracked humanitarian aid to South Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan and Iraq from 2016- 2018 to identify and qualify the prevalence of climate change related humanitarian programs. Out of the 1,361 funded projects observed in the study, only 40 of these were climate change-related and received funding. In general, climate change-related aid was qualified as a sub-area of a humanitarian project.
Preventing Statelessness Among Migrants And Refugee Children In North Africa: The Case Of Egypt
The Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) at the American University of Cairo published the findings of a study on birth registration of children born outside their parents’ country of nationality. The study aimed to identify barriers to individuals’ documentation that confirmed their identity and nationality. Major challenges included the submission of a valid marriage certificate, having to provide a valid residence permit at the time of registration, and having to register the birth within the 15-day time limit. Single mothers, orphan caregivers, and foreign displaced parents faced the greatest challenges registering births. The report recommends that many of these challenges could be alleviated with proper government and multilateral support.
Married by exception: Child marriage policies in the Middle East and North Africa
According to Save the Children, Girls in the Middle East and North Africa are in greater danger of being forced into ‘tourist’ or ‘pleasure’ marriages due to an increase in poverty. Compounding crises such as displacement and the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed parents to accede to marriage proposals for their daughters, including temporary unions called ‘summer’ marriages for a few weeks in exchange for money. Save the Children called on Arab governments to set the minimum age of marriage to at least 18 years as well as make registration compulsory for all marriages.