Massive data gaps leave refugee, migrant and displaced children in danger and without access to basic services (SOURCE: OECD.ORG)

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Gaps in data covering refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and internally displaced populations are endangering the lives and wellbeing of millions of children on the move, warned five UN and partner agencies today. In ‘A call to action: Protecting children on the move starts with better data’, UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM, Eurostat and OECD together show how crucial data are to understanding the patterns of global migration and developing policies to support vulnerable groups like children. The Call to Action confirms alarming holes in the availability, reliability, timeliness and accessibility of data and evidence that are essential for understanding how migration and forcible displacement affect children and their families. For example: There is recorded information on age for just 56 per cent of the refugee population under UNHCR’s mandate Only 20 per cent of countries or territories with data on conflict-related internally displaced persons (IDP) break it down by age Nearly a quarter of countries and territories do not have age disaggregated data on migrants,…

‘We are overwhelmed,’ senior refugee official says of east Congo crisis (SOURCE: Reuters)

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A humanitarian disaster in eastern Congo is quickly worsening as aid agencies have been forced to pull back due to growing insecurity and slashed budgets, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said on Wednesday. More than 4.4 million people have been displaced in Democratic Republic of Congo amid rampant violence that has been aggravated by a political crisis sparked by President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of his mandate in 2016. While conflict in the central Kasai region eased last year, persistent clashes between government soldiers, local militias and foreign rebels in the eastern borderlands have worsened. “We are overwhelmed and underfunded,” NRC head Jan Egeland told Reuters in an interview in the town of Beni in North Kivu province. “The crisis in Congo, especially here in the eastern part of Congo, is phenomenal. It is horrible. And we do not have the global solidarity and response that we need,” he said. The area…

DRC violence risks ‘spreading’ as 22,000 flee in a week (SOURCE: Aljazeera)

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The United Nations has expressed its deep concern about ongoing ethnic fighting in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, warning that the violence that has forced tens of thousands to seek shelter in neighbouring Uganda "may spread further". More than 22,000 people fled clashes between Hema herders and Lendu farmers in Ituri province last week, according to the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR). This marked a dramatic increase in the number of people crossing Lake Albert to reach Uganda in search of safety, bringing the overall figure since the start of the year to 34,000. The latest influx follows what a UNHCR spokesperson called "the latest and biggest wave" in an outbreak of violence that started in the area in December. "A number of local monitors have confirmed to us that more than 1,000 houses have been burned in Djugu, Ituri territory, which is the epicentre of the violence. The displaced say that groups of armed men set houses on fire and killed civilians," Andreas Kirchhof told Al Jazeera on Wednesday. "It's a…

Refugees’ long, hungry walk from South Sudan to Kakuma (SOURCE: The Star)

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Since fighting erupted in Juba in 2013 and a major rebel faction returned to war, rebel groups have proliferated in most parts of South Sudan, the world’s newest nation. With the conflict now in its fifth year, nearly 2.5 million South Sudanese have fled and become refugees in other countries. Kenya is the third country after Uganda and Ethiopia hosting the largest number of South Sudanese refugees. These refugees walk for long distances without food to reach the Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana. A visit to the camp revealed a depressing state of affairs for women and children. NEW ARRIVALS Athieng ker Anyieth sits on the floor with her newborn baby at the Kakuma reception centre. Her two other children mingle with fellow refugee kids, all of them barefooted, captivated by their self-made games. Athieng is lost in thought as she stares at her newest family members. She is just a week old in the camp. Athieng left her warring…

Refugees to benefit from Royal Adelaide Hospital closure (SOURCE: ABC News)

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One of the world's largest refugee camps will soon be home to surplus medical equipment from the old Royal Adelaide Hospital. The Kakuma refugee camp in the north-western region of Kenya has a population of more than 185,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers, according to the United Nations. A small Adelaide charity started by a former Adelaide United player and his brother is ensuring unneeded equipment including an ultrasound machine, a 500-kilogram operating table, beds, mattresses, tables, trolleys and a wheelchair will get there. The Barefoot to Boots charity was started by brothers Awer Mabil and Awer Bul, themselves former residents of the camp. Mabil went on to play for Adelaide United in the A-League before moving to Europe where he now plays with Portuguese side FC Pacos de Ferreira. The Barefoot to Boots (BTB) initiative provides sports boots, shirts, and balls to refugees as part of efforts to improve their health and wellbeing. In recent times it has expanded to provide…
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