In the face of Covid-19 it feels like everything outside your four walls has ground to a halt. This is not the case. For millions of people across the world, coronavirus joins a long list of things that threaten their lives every day. Here are the facts behind three of the many humanitarian crises that continue, even if your social life does not.
- Number of people affected: 13.5 million need urgent humanitarian aid
- Number of refugees: 6.6 million IDPs (half are under 18 – UNRA) and further 5.6 million people have fled the country
- Impact of conflict: People who remain in Syria face war, starvation and disease. Mercy Corps states that 68 per cent of Syrian children are not in education, which is extremely damaging to their future and ability to escape poverty. Read more about the charities’ work in Syria.
- Background: In 2011, the government’s violent response to peaceful demonstrations as part of the Arab Spring – a series of protests opposing oppressive regimes, starting in Tunisia and spreading to dozens of countries in the Middle East. The protests called for President Bashar al-Assad removal to be replaced with a democratic system of government.
- Peoples stories: Samaras Aid Appeal is a charity which provides Syrians with medical and humanitarian help. Read about how the charity helped a man who lost a hand and foot to the Islamic State.
- More information: Watch this video by UNICEF,to answer your questions about the lives of children living in Syria and to give details about how you can help.
- Number of people affected: Nearly 1 million
- Impact of conflict: 700,000 of the estimated 1 million Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh. They are now housed in the world’s largest refugee camp that is highly vulnerable to landslides and monsoon flooding.
- Background: The Rohingya are a Muslim minority who have lived in Myanmar for centuries. Rohingya are classified as non-citizens and are not recognised or protected by the law, are unable to access education or healthcare and have been persecuted for decades. They fled what Amnesty called “a dehumanizing apartheid regime” and what the UN described as “ethnic cleansing”.
- People’s stories: Read Mohamed’s and Aziza’s stories who fled Myanmar and are now refugees.
- More information: This video by the UN helps to explain the crisis in more detail and shows the living conditions of the Rohingya refugees.
- Number of people affected: 22 million +
- Number of refugees: nearly 4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) as of 2019
- Impact of conflict: United Nations Refugee Agency (UNRA) -part of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees- reports over two thirds of people have no reliable access to food and are close to starvation.
- Background: In March 2015, the conflict over who would rule Yemen escalated when a Saudi coalition began airstrikes against a rebel group called Houthis. Since then, Human Rights Watch has recorded a total 20,100 Saudi-led airstrikes, 90 of which were illegal.
- People’s stories: Read how Sahim, Shamima, Aicha and Fawzia are struggling to feed their children and watch their families suffer with malnutrition. The stories were gathered by Mercy Corps.
- More information: Watch this video from Al Jazeera covering Amnesty’s report of people living with disabilities in Yemen with no access to medical care.
Syrian, Myanmar and Yemen flag: Photo: Nicholas Raymond, Creative Commons License – Attribution 3.0