Different conflict, same crisis
Almost four million refugees and asylum seekers have fled from one conflict zone to another Oxfam said today ahead of two summits being held in New York next week (19, 20 September) aimed at addressing the refugee crisis.
Oxfam’s analysis shows almost 16 per cent of people who have fled violence, persecution or war at home have ended up in another country that is itself in conflict or experiencing insecurity. They include Somali refugees in Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East currently embroiled in conflict.
Oxfam is calling on all governments to use the two summits to make firm commitments to share responsibility for people who have been forced to flee their homes and to protect all people on the move.
The UK government has so far fallen far short of its responsibility to help vulnerable refugees. In addition to sending aid to countries coping with large numbers of refugees, it also needs to commit to welcoming more refugees here, to help refugees reunite with their families and to offer a safe haven to more unaccompanied children.
Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB’s Chief Executive, said:
“The fact that so many people flee conflict only to end up in another country that’s troubled by insecurity shows the lack of options many refugees have.
“Families who have already been traumatised and torn apart and children who are travelling on their own deserve the chance of a safer future.
“At a time when the world is coming together to try to find solutions to this crisis, it is profoundly important that the UK honours its proud history of helping refugees and shows the world we’re willing to play our part.”
Figures for 2015 show that 65 million people have fled their homes because of violence, war, persecution and conflict - more than at any time since records began. And while the majority have stayed in their own countries, over 20 million have tried to find a safe haven in another country.
Last year almost four million refugees and asylum seekers were registered in 15 countries where conflict had caused a total of 161,250 deaths.
Notes to editors: 1. The United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants takes place on 19th September. On 20th September, the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees will be hosted by Barack Obama. 2. Oxfam’s report Different conflict, same crisis is available here
To donate to Oxfam's Refugee Crisis Appeal go to https://donate.oxfam.org.uk/emergency/refugeecrisis