Rooted in 10 conflicts, majority of refugees have been hosted by 15 countries, says new World Bank report. In a statement issued by the World Bank describing the report, forced displacement is a crisis centered in developing countries, which host 89 percent of refugees and 99 percent of internally displaced persons. At its root are the same 10 conflicts which have accounted for the majority of the forcibly displaced every year since 1991, consistently hosted by about 15 countries – also overwhelmingly in the developing world.
The study which identified three phases of forced displacement ( Prevention and preparedness,Mid-crisis action,Rebuilding Lives) where development institutions can intervene to help reduce the costs of the crisis was conducted by the World Bank in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It examined the role of development in resolving the challenge of forced displacement. It responds to the growing need to better manage these crises as an important development challenge, part of an overall effort to reduce poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The aim of development support is to address the longer term, social and economic dimensions of displacement, in close collaboration with humanitarian and other partners working in complementary ways. The report decribed the current crisis as severe with a reported 65 million people living in forced displacement – the report finds that over the past 25 years, the majority of both refugees and Internally Displaced Persons under UNHCR’s mandate can be traced to just a few conflicts in the following areas: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, Colombia, the Caucasus and the former Yugoslavia.
Since people typically flee to neighbors of their countries of origin, the responsibility of hosting has not been shared evenly. About 15 countries have consistently been hosting the majority of refugees. At the end of 2015, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, Syria’s neighbors, hosted 27 % of all refugees worldwide; Pakistan and Iran, Afghanistan’s neighbors, hosted 16 %; and Ethiopia and Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan’s neighbors, hosted 7%.
According to the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, “We’re committed to working with our partners to help the displaced overcome their ordeal and seize economic opportunities, while ensuring that host communities can also benefit and continue to pursue their own development.” The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi also stated that “The search for durable solutions for refugees, internally displaced and stateless persons is central to our mandate.” He added that “Enabling dignified and productive lives through development investment is key to this challenge. Working in a cooperative and complementary partnership, I hope humanitarian and development agencies can make a real difference in the lives of the world’s poorest and most marginalized populations.”
Credit: Sampson Adotey Jnr/PDA Ghana.