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  • Reply to: Europe’s Asylum Seekers and the Global Refugee Challenge   4 days 3 hours ago

    My home country is also facing this problem to accept the refugees even though our country is not rich and many social and economic issues still exist to be solved within our country. To be honest, I could not have enough knowledge to understand this issue, but, whenever I read this case, there are some questions that come up to my mind . ..whether they go to the rich countries in the Middle East or not; if not, why they do not usually go to these rich countries, and why they want to come to the poor developing countries like our country. If we understand this reason, we can find the solution.

  • Reply to: Europe’s Asylum Seekers and the Global Refugee Challenge   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Absolutely - Once the immediate humanitarian concerns are dealt with in an effective and humane manner, the focus needs to be on ensuring that the countries of origin of the displaced and - where repatriations are unlikely in the near term - the hosting countries are supported to ensure that the burden of hosting is alleviated. This phenomenon is indeed unprecedented in scale and a global challenge, perhaps indeed best thought of as a "global public good". The dangers for example of creating an excluded underclass are apparent to all and with even the wealthy nations of Europe finding this a challenge at times, resources need to be funneled to developing host countries and the displaced to ensure that they are able to avail themselves of education and healthcare for their kids and employment for the young and the adults. All this of course has to be done in a manner that does not lead to friction between the displaced and hosting communities. The World Bank has indeed provided significant support to host communities in Jordan and work is ongoing to support the displaced in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere. The Africa region in the Bank, of course, has many years of experience in dealing with displaced populations with some valuable lessons for all. Indeed the Bank has engaged on this issue across the globe and continues to generate excellent knowledge on the subject while looking for innovative ways of financing to deal with this challenge. Our development partners and the World Bank Group are part and parcel of the development work needed to ensure the social stability and economic growth to stem the flow of displaced and ensure that the "stock" of the displaced presents as small a burden on hosting communities as possible. It is in the interest of all to ensure as smooth a transition as possible and make the resources available to address this challenge.

  • Reply to: MENA: A new challenge   3 weeks 3 days ago

    I totally admire your point Dr Hafez concerning the importance of recreating and maintaining the middle class in Egypt , I think this is one of the triggers ,so I can envision that the large economic growth Egypt gone through was unfortunately on the expense of creating inequality that lead to disappearance of the middle class which is important to the political stability .

  • Reply to: Europe’s Asylum Seekers and the Global Refugee Challenge   3 weeks 3 days ago

    You are right: it is time for a global response to the refugee crisis. And that response must be focussed on addressing the causes that push people to flee their countries, not the consequences. Notably the lack of economic opportunities, access to services, and other forms of deprivation, abuse, and violence, as it is well known. These are some of the same causes that push traffickers to traffic migrants, and youngsters to join extremist groups. In regards to the "Mediterranean crisis" which is actually a MENA crisis (as it is in those countries that the crisis is) it is quite surprising that the EU comes up with an agenda that promises to step up the patrolling at sea/borders, tackling the trafficking, and promises to think about the immigration policies (albeit commits to implement the existing ones, that many say are wrong), but there is no word about what will be done to support countries in the region address the structural causes of fragility and build viable economies and resilient communities and states. Not a single mention of this. The global refugee challenge is not about what to do with the refugees. It is about what to do with the countries they come from, which by the way are unbelievably silent (at least on public channels) about this matter. Some of these countries are at war where the thing to do is to bring peace (I am not saying it is easy, just that it is the thing to do). Some are countries that have been receiving AID from, or that have been business or geo-political partners of the West for decades. Unclear where the benefits of that ended. But in all cases, a smart and big package to support economic revitalisation may be a good idea in some of these countries. Refugees in the past returned to their countries (which is the best solution to a refugee crisis, when the return voluntary of course) because things were better in their countries, not because UNHCR was good at bringing them back. So the focus now must be, again, on the countries of origin and must be about economic development and provision of services (including security). I know this is obvious, but a quick read out of the debate today suggests that actually it is not. Look forward to reading about a major WB package to create opportunities that will give people in the countries from where the greatest number of refugees are coming from the choice of whether to risk their lives at sea or earn a living at home.

  • Reply to: We are all accountable: The health of Palestinians first and foremost   1 month 3 weeks ago

    Thank you for your comment. While the health of all people is certainly a key goal, in a fragile and conflict affected context the protection of the most vulnerable segments of the population, and particularly of children, is a priority and calls for increased national and international attention. We appreciate your interest and indeed the blog intended to raise awareness and inform the audience, locally in the Palestinian territories and beyond.