You must be out in space if you have not heard about the refugee crisis – a dreadful outcome of many ongoing conflicts, including those in Syria, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Yemen.
These countries have also suffered from devastating droughts brought on by the 2015 El Niño, the effects of which were much stronger because of climate change. Scientists are arguing about whether the root causes of these wars can be attributed to climate change or not, but the result of all the calamities is a clear fact: millions are displaced and, after a decade of steady improvement, global hunger is on the rise.
While media attention was focused on Europe, most refugees are hosted by countries neighbouring those in conflict. The UN Refugee Agency reports Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Uganda, Germany and Chad are top refugee host countries. Low-income countries are the top refugee hosts, meaning they are really stretched with their resources.
Refugee settlements are meant to provide a short-term shelter for people escaping terror at home, but the average stay in a refugee camp is now well over ten years. Nobody plans for this. Refugee camps are created sporadically and as temporary measures. In many cases the camps are far from infrastructure, often in resource scarce locations, susceptible to natural disasters.