Displacement, destruction, despair: The humanitarian crises and natural disasters that have left a detrimental mark on 2018.
Displacement and seeking sanctuary
The growing global refugee crisis demanded continued support this year.In 2018, on average, 1 in every 113 people are displaced in the world. This is the largest record of displacement ever recorded. One of the worst affected countries is Syria, with two-thirds of the population displaced over a course of 7 years. As war continues, the refugee crisis deepens. 5.6 million people have fled. (UNHCR)All We Can focused its attention on supporting displaced people affected by this crisis in Jordan and Lebanon.
Some Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan have lived in temporary shelter for up to 7 years. Skilled individuals are keen to have regularity back in their life and boredom has become a real issue within refugee camps. Refugees have not only suffered trauma, but are affected by a lack of purpose. This damages self-esteem and many individuals feel they have missed out on achieving personal goals due to their situation. Refugees do not want to rely solely on hand outs, yet for many it is difficult to establish an independent income in their current situation.All We Can has supported initiatives to help refugees find a way to earn and income and to find renewed purpose and hope for the future.
In Myanmar, violent attacks against Rohingya communities caused this minority group to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. Since August 2017, 723,000 Rohingya people have been displaced from Myanmar.
While some Rohingya people have lived in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh for a number of decades the sudden influx of over 700,000 people put a real strain resources in Bangladesh. The land many have settled on is not suitable for long-term habitation and flimsy shelters put lives at risk during monsoon season. Additionally, young Rohingya women and girls are often targeted by human traffickers working within Bangladesh. Traffickers use the dire situation within the camps to their advantage – Many women and girls find themselves forced into dangerous situations, including labour intensive work or sex work against their will.
When disaster comes – Indonesian earthquake and tsunami
In October, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Sulawesi, Indonesia. This triggered a tsunami, destroying everything in its path.
The earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia on the 28 of September affected 1.5 million people. This includes families losing loved ones, with over 1,500 deaths recorded. The sheer strength and destruction caused by were contaminated by the tsunami, causing severe water shortages. People queued for 2 hours just to access fresh water.
The contaminated water has increased the risk of disease outbreak. This is further exacerbated by people living in crowded, camp like conditions. The demand for sanitation is huge, in particularly for women and girls. Agricultural land has also been affected which many people were entirely dependant on,both as a food source and for their livelihood. This will aggravate food insecurity within the local area.
All We Can in action
All We Can has delivered work to each of these crises. The work has been tailored to meet the most pressing needs.
In Jordan and Lebanon All We Can has assisted refugees in accessing shelter, health and education. All We Can has also supported the set-up of income generating groups for Syrian refugee woman. Groups of women come together to use their skills to provide services for the rest of the community. These serves include baking, hairdressing and making clothes. These women are making a sustainable income, providing for their families and helping the refugee community.
For Rohingya refugees, All We Can is providing adequate shelters which will withstand heavy rain. All We Can has enabled the creation of safe spaces for women in which they can talk through trauma with confidence and confidentiality. These spaces also provide a creative space for women to learn new skills and form new friendships. In addition to this, All We Can has been able to add to the construction of women-only bathing spaces providing more protection for women in the camps.
In Indonesia, in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, All We Can supported the provision of sanitation items, such as soap and toothpaste, it helped to address food shortages by providing families with food and kitchen sets as well as basic food items and it provided temporary shelter kits. In coming months longer-term recovery needs for shelter will be the focus of the response.
While many emergency crises are on the news one day, and gone the next, they have a real and long-lasting impact on those that live through them. In 2019, All We Can will continue to support work with these affected communities.
Find out more about some of our current emergency appeals and how you can help All We Can respond in an emergency.