Foreign refugees (coming to for example the US, Canada and Britain and France among others) go through a vetting process that can take from 18-36 months which begins with an application to the United Nations (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and includes meeting a variety international and national guidelines. That is not what we are seeing in the media when we watch boatloads of men, women and children paying off persons unknown to ferry them across land and seas to escape their country-of -origin be that from the Middle East or Central America (remember the boatloads of people who fled Cuba many decades ago?). Most of these people we see piled in rafts or inside trucks paid for that experience and then hoped and prayed that it would all work out because it simply could not be any worse than from whence they came. At least no one is trying to shoot them. No father, no mother would embark on such an adventure except in the most dire of circumstances. And we would each likely do the same. In colonial times in this country, tens of thousands of refugees fled the war torn towns and villages to Canada and most never returned.
Syrian refugee Fatima sits under a footbridge where she sleeps with her baby daughter Lamia in Beirut, Lebanon.
Joint report by World Bank Group and UNHCR reveals widespread poverty and vulnerability.
AMMAN, Jordan Dec 16 (UNHCR) – Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon are facing dire levels of poverty, with the situation expected to worsen in the near future, a study published today by the World Bank Group and the UN Refugee Agency revealed.
Nearly 1.7 million Syrian refugees registered in Jordan and Lebanon live in miserable conditions, often unable to afford the very basics including sufficient food, clothes and medicine. The majority are women and children who live on the margins in urban and rural areas, often in substandard accommodation, rather than in refugee camps.
In Jordan alone, nine out of every ten registered refugees are either already defined as poor or soon will be, the report found.
The majority of these were assessed as being highly vulnerable to monetary and food shocks, such as when the World Food Programme was forced earlier this year to temporarily reduce or suspend food assistance to hundreds of thousands of refugees due to funding shortages.
“This report presents a sobering analysis of the profound poverty of Syrian refugees who have endured shock after shock. Their situation will only worsen unless there is a dramatic change in opportunity for them to support their own self-reliance and contribute to local economies,” said Kelly T. Clements, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees.
Source: UNHCR – Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon snared in poverty – study