[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)
Besieged Syrian provinces escaped the worst of COVID, but now are hit with high rates.
The Washington Post reported on the health conditions in the northwestern Idlib province. Although border closures kept the region isolated from major COVID outbreaks over the past year, COVID infections began to surge in August due to relaxation of travel restrictions. However, the continued lack of medical equipment, scarcity of COVID tests, and public skepticism spreading on social media are creating a dangerous COVID hotspot in displacement camps.
Latest Developments (Other)
EU and UNRWA sign new Joint Declaration marking 50 years of Strategic Partnership - occupied Palestinian territory
The EU signed a declaration of support for UNRWA for 2021 through 2024. The renewal of the agreement marks 50 years of EU-UNRWA partnership. In the Joint Declaration, the EU committed to continuing its political support to UNRWA and providing annual financial resources to enable the agency to fulfil its mandate and provide services to Palestinian refugees. These services include providing education for half a million children and primary healthcare services for 3.5 million patients.
PepsiCo Partners with the UN World Food Programme in Iraq to support farmers affected by conflict, displacement, and climate change
بيبسيكو تتعاون مع برنامج الأغذية العالمي في العراق لدعم المزارعين المتضررين من النزاعات والنزوح وتغير المناخ
PepsiCo Inc and the UN WFP announced a new partnership to support farmers in Iraq that have been impacted by climate change and conflict in order to build a more sustainable agricultural supply chain in the area. The partnership entails a $250,000 grant from PepsiCo to enable WFP to expand its ongoing resilience-building program in Iraq. The program will empower Iraqi smallholder farmers to establish reliable market linkages, gain access to finance, and increase crop quality and yields.
International Community Overwhelmingly Reaffirms Support for UNRWA at Annual Pledging Conference- but funds still insufficient
المجتمع الدولي يؤكد بأغلبية ساحقة على دعمه للأونروا في مؤتمر التعهدات السنوي
According to UNRWA, dozens of nations came together to pledge political and financial support for UNRWA. The UNRWA Commissioner-General stated that the commitment is vital due to the increased political attacks that threaten the Agency’s operations. The Agency stated that it is continuing to face repeated catastrophic funding shortfalls that leave its staff and the millions of vulnerable people it serves. It called on the international community to reform its structural funding model that has so far failed UNRWA.
Flagship Workshop for Persons with Disabilities Makes History in Iraq, MENA Region
ورشة العمل الرئيسية للأشخاص ذوي الإعاقة تصنع التاريخ في العراق ومنطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا
According to IOM, Iraq has one of the largest populations with disabilities in the world. In partnership with the International Disability Alliance and the Iraqi Alliance of Disability Organizations, IOM and Australia Aid organized a training in Erbil between November 9-16 to build advocacy skills of persons with disabilities in Iraq. The workshop worked with 108 candidates with diverse backgrounds and disabilities representing 12 governorates across Iraq.
Alarming Rise in People at Risk Amid Ongoing Hostilities in Yemen’s Ma’rib
IOM raised the alarm that over 45,000 people have been displaced since September in the Ma’rib province due to shifting frontlines. Agency officials stated that the intensity of displacement over the past two months is comparable to the humanitarian impact over the last two years. Shifting frontlines made it increasingly difficult for displaced people to access aid.
QRCS provides life-saving medical services in Jordan
خدمات طبية حيوية من الهلال الأحمر القطري للمرضى واللاجئين في الأردن
Qatar Red Crescent Society has deployed a series of mobile medical clinics to several governorates across Jordan in cooperation with Jordan National Red Crescent Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Medical personnel visited the Balqa Governorate and provided medical attention to 230 elderly people, women, and children. The orupose of the clinics is to reach vulnerable people across Jordan such as Syrian refugees.
Belgium supports WFP assistance in five countries where needs are exceptionally high
The United Nations World Food Programme was granted a donation package of €7.5 million from the Government of Belgium to support the agency’s response to food shortages in Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria. This support comes at a time when WFP is strapped for funds in these countries. The grant will provide assistance for 157,600 of the poorest and most food insecure people in the Gaza Strip as well as provide food assistance to 270,000 Syrians.
As most schools reopen, much remains to be done to improve children’s education in the Middle East and North Africa
According to UNICEF, schools are opening up across 18 countries across the MENA region. Schools were closed for four to six weeks longer than the average which significantly affects children’s education and mental wellbeing. Due to digital poverty, lack of access to the internet or not having digital devices, at least 39 million children across the MENA region were unable to access home-based learning during school closures. UNICEF is working with governments across the region to design and implement a range of inclusive, accelerated, and remedial programmes.
Sudan: UNICEF delivers lifesaving medical assistance to hospitals in Khartoum
UNICEF delivered emergency medical assistance to two hospitals in Khartoum, Ibrahim Malik and Al-Mualim in the Sudanese capital city. The emergency health kits distributed provide basic medical needs for 40,000 patients for three months. In the Darfur region, UNICEF continues to support the ongoing vaccination campaign.
Tunisia rescues 487 migrants in crowded boat off its coast
The Tunisian defense ministry rescued 487 migrants mostly of Egyptian, Syrian, and Bangladesh origin, including 93 children, according to AP News. The migrant boat left from neighboring Libya and was boarded by Tunisian officials on November 26.
Evacuation flights from Libya to Italy bring hope for vulnerable asylum seekers
رحلات الإجلاء من لیبیا إلى إیطالیا تجلب معھا الأمل لطالبي اللجوء الأكثر ضعفاً
UNHCR announced the evacuation of 93 asylum seekers from Libya to Italy on November 25. This group represents the first of 5 UNHCR flights to Rome, which will carry 500 asylum seekers, primarily women, children, survivors of violence and torture, and people with serious medical conditions. Upon their arrival, the asylum seekers will submit their official applications.
المغرب: إنقاذ أكثر من 330 مهاجرا منذ يوم الجمعة الماضي
The Moroccan authorities announced that the coast guard had rescued about 330 migrants in the Mediterranean at the time between the 12th and the 15th. Around 248 of the migrants came from sub-Saharan Africa, 80 from Morocco, two from Asia and one from Sudan. Thousands of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa pass through Africa on their way to Europe. According to IOM, 2021 has been the bloodiest year for migrants on their pay to Spain with death reaching 1,025 people.
مهاجرون "يخترقون" الحدود من بيلاروسيا والشرطة البولندية تحتجز العشرات
According to Infomigrants, two large groups of migrants crossed the border from Belarus to Poland by destroying the border walls between two villages. The Polish police detained more than 50 migrants. The Polish Defense Ministry stated that Belrusian officials used intimidation to force migrants to cross the border. The Polish Ministry posted a video on Twitter of bullets being fired by the Belurisan side.
"رايتس ووتش" تتهم السلطات الفرنسية "بإساءة" معاملة المهاجرين واعتماد سياسات "غير فعالة"
France Should End Abusive Policies Toward Migrants
Human Rights Watch issued a statement in the beginning of November criticizing the treatment of migrants by the French authorities, especially in northern France where there have been several human rights violations. The policy of the police has been to prevent the establishment of camps, repeated evictions, and restriction of migrants' access to water and food. Human Rights Watch called on the French government to fundamentally change its approach towards migrants.
لبنان ينضم إلى دول "حظر السفر" إلى بيلاروسيا.. اشتراط حصول المسافرين على تأشيرة سفر أو إقامة
According to InfoMigrants, the Lebanese authorities implemented a new travel ban to Belarus for travelers without a residence permit or an entry visa. This decision came a week after Turkey and the United Arab Emirates announced that they would ban citizens of Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan from travelling to Belarus due to the worsening migration crisis on the Belarus-Poland border.
"حلقة مفرغة".. تفكيك مخيم غراند سانت شمال فرنسا
According to Infomigrants, based on the instructions of the French Interior Minister, the authorities dismantled the informal camp in Grand-Saint in northern France which housed 1500 migrants. The makeshift camp served migrants on their way to the United Kingdom. According to Utopia 56, a human rights organization, migrants were not warned before the eviction and an “unreasonably” heavy security presence. Relations between France and Britain are worsening as an increasing number of migrants have been reaching the UK through France.
"أوشن فايكنغ" تُنزل أكثر من 300 مهاجر في إيطاليا وخفر السواحل ينقذ أكثر من 400 في يوم واحد
The “Ocean Viking” disembarked in the port of Augusta on the Italian island of Sicily. The Italian authorities allowed 306 migrants on board the ship to disembark because of four meter high waves on the sea. The migrants were transferred to one of the municipality’s gyms where they were examined for Covid-19 and subject to preventive quarantine.
Jerusalem Youth at the Forefront of 2021’s Unity Intifada
The Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) published an article on the Palestinian unrest in April 2021, arguing that this renewed protest activity represents the coming of age of a young generation of Palestinians organized largely outside traditional political structures. The article, authored by two organizers/activists, concludes that Palestinians now need to translate these gains and the advancement in national consciousness into an institutional form.
Refugees and Guesthood in Turkey
The Journal of Refugee Studies published an article on the history of Turkish refugee policies as an exploration of the current government rhetoric around “guest” status instead of “refugee” terminology as a strategy to prevent the integration of asylum seekers into Turkish society. These labels persist despite the formal process for the legal rights of asylum seekers.
Psychosocial support services provided for Syrian refugees with disabilities
Middle East Current Psychiatry published an article reviewing and analysing current Syrian refugees services. The study identified the need for greater studies and monitoring of psychosocial services (PSS) in the region. It recommends for the improvement of professional development of practitioners in the region, conducting more research for best practices and greatest needs of patients, and legalizing and state monitoring of services.
The Vulnerability of Refugee Amid Lebanese Law and the Humanitarian Policies
The Center for Lebanese Studies published a research report mapping out the vulnerability assessment mechanisms developed by state authorities in Lebanon, including how they are implemented on the ground. The report examined the vulnerability assessment mechanism employed by international organizations in Lebanon, whether the United Nations agencies or other international and national non-governmental organizations.
In Harm's Way: Adolescent Girls in Northwest Syria: Survivors of Vulnerability, Inequality and Discrimination
Plan International published a report based on research from Northwest Syria with Women Now for Development documenting the deterioration of gender equity throughout the Syrian conflict. For many girls in crisis settings, the onset of puberty marks a time of heightened vulnerability, discrimination and inequality as many are denied education, experience restricted mobility and forced into child marriage. According to the study, adolescent girls are generally ignored in humanitarian plans so they miss out on community and growth opportunities.