"With the war in Ukraine now in its second year, nearly a third of the
country’s population has been displaced, including 8 million people who have
sought refuge beyond its borders.
International support for the plight of these refugees has been heartening.
Nearly 4.5 million Ukrainians having been granted temporary protection status
across the European Union (EU).
But we also need to ask: how does this response compare to the countless other
humanitarian crises around the world right now?
Last year, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) reported there were ten
“forgotten crises” in the world, all in Africa. The suffering of people in
these countries or regions rarely makes international headlines. And there is
seemingly little political interest or will from the international community to
address the situation.
Furthermore, the war in Ukraine has redirected humanitarian assistance and
resources away from these other crises. While children in Ukraine have been
supported, millions of young people in countries like Sudan and Yemen have lost
access to vital food aid. They are now at heightened risk of malnutrition and
NRC Secretary-General Jan Egeland put it like this:
The war in Ukraine has demonstrated the immense gap between what is possible
when the international community rallies behind a crisis, and the daily
reality for millions of people suffering in silence [from crises] that the
world has chosen to ignore. [This is] not only unjust […] but comes with a
A recent report from Save the Children compared the EU’s response to Ukrainians
seeking temporary protection and asylum to those from elsewhere. Syrian
refugees, for example, described being detained in inhumane or substandard
conditions until their asylum claims were considered.
They certainly weren’t granted the temporary protection status afforded
Ukrainian refugees. The report called this “dysfunctional at best and cruel at
worst”, part of a policy designed to “contain those who arrived and deter
others from coming”."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics