Ahead of two summits being held in New York next week (19, 20 September) aimed at addressing the refugee crisis, Oxfam is highlighting how almost four million refugees and asylum seekers have fled from one conflict zone only to find themselves in another.
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.
The latest Home Office data shows that a total of 112 Syrian refugees had been resettled in Wales by the end of June 2016.
Oxfam Cymru is calling on the Welsh public to stand as one with refugees and asylum seekers this Saturday (17 September) at a public rally in Swansea, during which refugees and asylum seekers from war-torn countries, who are now living in Wales, will share their stories.
Kirsty Davies-Warner, Head of Oxfam Cymru, said:
“The Stand As One rally is an opportunity for us in Wales to show our Government, and other governments across the world that we want to see more solutions and less rhetoric on the refugee crisis.
“Wales can play its part by resettling its fair share of refugees and asylum seekers, and by providing a warm welcome for families when they arrive here, but world leaders have a duty to address the root causes of war and violence. They must ensure that women, men and children who have no choice but to flee their homes can live in peace and safety.”
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.
Can YOU Help?… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the West Wales Chronicle than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The West Wales Chronicle’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as £1, you can support the Chronicle – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.