Statistics and Stories – Time to Change the Refugee Narrative?

Rohingya refugees carry blankets at a camp in Bangladesh. Credit: Naimul Haq/IPSBy Farhana Haque RahmanROME, Nov 25 2019 (IPS) Statistics and stories. When aid agencies appeal for funding to tackle the latest refugee crisis and journalists do their reporting, then these are the two narratives most chosen — one impersonal and the other upfront and individual. The sheer numbers can feel overwhelming. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says more than 70 million people are currently displaced by conflict, the most since the Second World War. Among them are nearly 26 million who have fled their countries (over half under the age of 18) and 3.5 million more are registered as asylum seekers. Just last year, 13.6 million people were newly displaced, either as refugees crossing borders or as IDPs (internally displaced peoples). Syria accounts for the largest forcibly displaced population in the world, with nearly 13 million people on the move since war erupted in 2011, including 6.7 million refugees escaping across borders. Neighbouring Turkey is the world’s top host country, with 3.7 million displaced Syrians on its territory. But then there are the images and personal stories that carry so much more impact than the bare statistics. For Syria possibly the most devastating, and also far reaching in political terms, was the picture of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi lying lifeless on a Turkish beach, drowned trying to reach Europe with his family. And the stories that do convey hope a...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Aid Armed Conflicts Crime & Justice Featured Gender Violence Global Headlines Health Human Rights Migration & Refugees TerraViva United Nations Source Type: news

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