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  • Author: Margo Berends
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Although Aleppo is now under the control of forces supporting the Syrian government and the city has been evacuated, it is but one city and the Syrian crisis is far from over. Millions have been displaced by the violence, either within Syria or across its borders, and the refugee crisis reverberates across the Middle East, Europe and beyond. While there has been much discussion of the refugee crisis, there has been limited coverage in mainstream American media of the needs of refugees and displaced people beyond the basics.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Humanitarian Aid, Non-Governmental Organization, Refugee Issues, Women, Displacement, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria, Jordan, United States of America
  • Author: Peter Wood
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Although it is highly unlikely that China will deploy a large force or even, as one widely disseminated and erroneous report suggested, its aircraft carrier to fight in Syria, it is clear that China is increasing the visibility of its support for Bashar al-Assad’s government to improve its level of influence in whatever resulting post–civil war government emerges.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Humanitarian Aid, Bilateral Relations, Military Affairs, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Sarah Drury, John Flanagan, Aaron Gregg, Pitchaya Indravudh, Abbie Taylor, Sanjula Weerasinghe
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Today, perhaps more than ever, humanitarian crises permeate the lives of millions, triggering increased human movement and repeatedly testing the international community's capacity to respond. Stakeholders within the international community have recognized that existing legal and institutional frameworks for protecting forced migrants are inadequate to address the diversity of movements and needs. This article examines the situation of noncitizens who are caught in violence, conflict, and disaster, and asserts that they are an at-risk population requiring tailored responses. Recent history has witnessed numerous humanitarian crises in which noncitizens have been among those most seriously affected. With more people than at any other point in history residing outside of their country of origin, the presence of new and sustained eruptions of violence and conflict, and the frequency and intensity of disasters predicted to increase, noncitizens will continue to be caught in countries experiencing crises. Destination countries, as well as origin countries whose citizens are caught in crisis situations abroad, must understand the challenges that noncitizens may encounter in accessing assistance and protection, and must formulate responses to ensure that their needs are adequately accommodated. While both citizens and noncitizens may encounter difficulties in any given humanitarian crisis, research on five recent crises—the Libyan uprising, the Tohoku earthquake, the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, flooding in Thailand, Hurricane Sandy in the United States, and the on-going conflict in Syria—demonstrates that a range of factors create particular challenges for noncitizens. Factors related to the underlying environment in the country undergoing a crisis and the responses of different actors may exacerbate the vulnerability of noncitizens. Moreover, different groups of noncitizens manifest distinct protection needs due to specific attributes. In a given context, the interaction of these factors leads to varying levels of vulnerability for different groups, and the experiences of noncitizens in crisis situations implicate a range of fundamental human rights. Promising practices which may reduce the vulnerabilities of noncitizens and their exposure to harm during crises include: limiting immigration enforcement activities in favor of dispensing life-saving assistance; communication of emergency and relief messages in multiple languages and modes; facilitating entry and re-entry; and providing targeted relief services. These practices are not limited to countries experiencing crises; origin countries have also displayed judicious actions, undertaking bi-lateral negotiations to address specific needs and seeking external assistance in order to protect their citizens who are caught in crisis situations. This article seeks to inform ways to mitigate the vulnerabilities and address unmet assistance and protection needs of noncitizens caught in countries experiencing crises. It focuses primarily on vulnerabilities experienced during crises, acknowledging the importance of preventative action that targets the potential vulnerabilities and needs of noncitizens. It also acknowledges that assistance and protection needs often persist beyond the abatement of crises and warrant ongoing intervention. The observations presented in this paper are drawn from desk research on a limited number of situations, and therefore, the article is an introductory attempt to call attention to the issues at play when a crisis occurs, rather than an in-depth study of the subject. Nonetheless, it offers recommendations for alleviating the exposure of noncitizens, which include actions aimed at: addressing the underlying legal and policy landscape related to crises and relevant areas like immigration so as to account for the presence and needs of noncitizens; ensuring that all categories of noncitizens are able to access, understand and navigate information regarding emergency and relief assistance and are able to utilize them; and limiting the exposure of noncitizens to harm through targeted measures that address their particular needs and vulnerabilities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Syria, Thailand
  • Author: Nicole Ostrand
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The conflict in Syria between the government of Bashar al-Assad and various other forces, which started in the spring of 2011, continues to cause displacement within the country and across the region. By the end of 2014, an estimated 7.6 million people were internally displaced and 3.7 million Syrians had fled the country since the conflict began (OCHA 2014; UNHCR 2015a). The refugee situation caused by the Syrian conflict is dire, and it has placed enormous strain on neighboring countries. Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and Turkey host massive numbers of Syrian refugees, and Syrians have been seeking protection beyond these countries in increasing numbers since 2011. This paper looks at the burdens and costs of the Syrian refugee crisis and considers how they have, or have not, been shared by the international community at large, and in particular by Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It also considers to what degree Syrians have been able to find protection in states outside the region. Germany and Sweden, by the end of 2014, had provided protection to the largest number of Syrian refugees outside the region. Although Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States differ in the level of protection provided to Syrians, all four states have increased protection to Syrians via resettlement and asylum (and in the case of the US temporary protected status) since 2012. Despite this, the degree of protection provided by the four states is modest in relation to that provided by neighboring countries to Syria, and far more could be done. This paper also argues that the international community as a whole has not sufficiently contributed toward alleviating the burden caused by the Syrian refugee influx, in terms of both financial assistance and refugee resettlement.
  • Topic: Civil War, Humanitarian Aid, Regional Cooperation, Authoritarianism, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Syria, Syria