SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

August 2023 Press Review

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UN agency slashes cash aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan, raising the alarm on its funding crunch

AP News, 18 July 2023

The United Nations food agency said Tuesday it will reduce monthly cash aid for 120,000 Syrian refugees living in two camps in Jordan because of what it described as an “unprecedented funding crisis.”

Jordan is a country of 11 million people and hosts some 1.3 million refugees from Syria. Most of them live in towns and cities across the kingdom, while several tens of thousands have settled in two camps — Zaatari and Azraq. Starting in August, the monthly cash allowance for camp residents will be reduced from $32 to $21, the World Food Program said. Jordanian officials have warned that the kingdom cannot fill the gap left by international donors.

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More and more asylum seekers are coming to Canada

CBC News, 26 July 2023

Canada processed almost 60,000 applications from asylum seekers looking to take refuge here so far this year — the highest count in almost a decade.

While the increase can be explained by multiple factors, including a backlog of asylum applications, experts say it's underscored by one main theme: as the number of global conflicts and crises rise, so will the number of people seeking asylum — not just in Canada, but anywhere they can find it.

While the numbers show a stark increase compared to previous years, Tamjeedi says it's just a drop in the bucket compared to the total number of people seeking safety, with Canada receiving only two per cent of asylum claims globally.

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UK Turns its Back on Asylum Seekers with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch, July 3 2023

More than 50 asylum seekers, most of whom have disabilities, are being warehoused in a former care home in Essex, England, without access to adequate support and services.

The UK government opened the site, which can accommodate up to 77 people, in November 2022. Most people housed there, ranging from ages 20 to 74, have physical and sensory disabilities. Many require assistive devices, including wheelchairs and crutches, medical assistance, or support with daily activities, like moving around or going outside. They have fled places such as Afghanistan and Sudan.

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Egypt: Civilians Fleeing Sudan Conflict Turned Away

Human Rights Watch, 13 July 2023

The Egyptian government’s decision in June 2023 to require all Sudanese to obtain visas to enter Egypt has reduced access to safety for women, children, and older people fleeing the ongoing conflict in Sudan, Human Rights Watch said today. The impact of the new rule, building on a prior rule that already required Sudanese males ages 16 to 49 to obtain a visa, and its implementation without ensuring the speedy processing of visas, violates international standards by creating unreasonable and life-threatening delays in processing asylum seekers.

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UN experts call on Ethiopia to stop deporting Eritreans

Reuters, 13 July 2023

A group of United Nations investigators and experts called on Ethiopia on Thursday to halt the deportation of Eritreans, as well as the arbitrary detention of Eritrean refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

The group, who make reports on rights issues on behalf of the U.N., also condemned what they called the "summary expulsion of hundreds of Eritreans" by Ethiopia at the end of June.

"Collective expulsions are prohibited under international law," they said in a statement.

Ethiopia's official Human Rights Commission said on June 24 it was monitoring the forcible return of about 200 Eritreans. The Ethiopian Refugee and Returnee Service said last month that the people deported were not refugees or asylum seekers - a statement the U.N. experts said contradicted other reliable sources.

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Tunisia: Hundreds of migrants rescued from desert but remain in distress

AfricaNews, 13 July 2023

Three meals a day and water: some 600 migrants, including children, rescued on Monday from the border between Tunisia and Libya are now safe, but small groups remain stranded in this desert area near the Algerian border, according to NGOs and witnesses.

Following clashes that claimed the life of a Tunisian on July 3, hundreds of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa were chased out of Sfax (central-eastern Tunisia), the main departure point for illegal immigration, and driven by the authorities, according to NGOs, to inhospitable areas near Libya to the east, and Algeria to the west.

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South Africa: UN experts condemn xenophobic violence and racial discrimination against foreign nationals

United Nations Human Rights: Office of the High Commissioner, 15 July 2023

UN experts today condemned reports of escalating violence against foreign nationals in South Africa and called for accountability against xenophobia, racism and hate speech that were harming migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and even citizens perceived as foreign throughout the country.

Recent reports indicate that xenophobic violence and discrimination have increased, including under the banner of “Operation Dudula,” originally a social media campaign that has become an umbrella for mobilisation of violent protests, vigilante violence, arson targeting migrant-owned homes and businesses, and even the murder of foreign nationals.

The experts warned that the ongoing xenophobic mobilization was broader and deeper, and has become the central campaign strategy for some political parties in the country.

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