The Refugee Crisis: A Global Problem Needs International Solutions – Vilde Marie Ystmark

Today, millions of people are fleeing their homes due to war and conflicts, living in temporary camps with no idea what the future will hold. Behind the numbers, there are refugees with worries no one deserve to bear and hopes and dreams of a brighter future and a new beginning. The rest of the world’s duty is to make it possible!

The refugee crisis has increased dramatically. In fact, the word hasn’t seen a worse crisis since World War Two. Reported by UNCHR, there were 16,7 million registered migrants in the end of 2013. Truly there are many more. In Syria alone, as many as 9,3 million are escaping. 3 million of them are escaping to their neighbour countries: Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq. The countries all together have 19 million refugees living in refugee camps. 19 million is more people than they are capable of helping, and the help mostly comes from the countries themselves and international humanitarian organizations. There is much more that could have been done if the political will to help from other countries was bigger. 

The situation in the camps is critical. Shortage in food and medical help, work and education are all huge problems. Furthermore, the fact that millions of children is growing up under these circumstances doesn’t make anything better. The biggest part of the problem is the wrong focus; international solutions are based on materialistic and economical support. In my opinion, that is a huge failure. Economic support is important, but that should not become an excuse for not hosting refugees. Resettlement should be paid more attention.

The burden for Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq is huge. With chaotic circumstances, it’s impossible to help all the refugees. To ease that burden, the most vulnerable refugees must be taken for resettlement in other countries. For certain, the best thing would have been to make their home areas safe, but I’m pretty sure we all know that’s not realistic at all. When the situation is as bad as it is, other countries should be responsible and humane. Other countries should increase the number of refugees they accept for resettlement within the United Nation’s refugee agency.

Today, there are 25 developed countries that accept refugees for resettlement. However this only provides less than 1 percent of all the refugees cared for in the world among to UNHCR’s overview for forced displacements. Unfortunately, there will be even fewer in total.

The United Nations should demand more countries to resettle refugees. I believe that more countries to accept resettlement of refugees would help a lot. Several countries have the capabilities to help; it’s just a question of political will and priority.

It’s really important to remember that where you are born is just a mere chance. Nobody deserves a life as a refugee. Increasing the resettlement of refugees would help thousands of refugees to receive a home in safety. All the member states of the UN should be humane and help!

Vilde Marie Ystmark is a member of Young Liberals of Norway and leader of the regional branch Nordland.


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