Executive Summary for July 6th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a report showing that Syrian refugees are getting poorer, migrants on the Greek islands saying they’re living in fear and a warning that a possible Ethiopia famine could drive new migration.

Published on July 6, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Syrian Refugees Getting Poorer, UNHCR Warns

Syrian refugees are sliding further into poverty, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) warned. Only $1.38 billion of the $4.55 billion pledged to help refugees at a London conference on Syria in February has so far been funded.

In Lebanon, the average household debt of Syrian refugees has increased sharply since 2014, the UNHCR report found. This rise has pushed the percentage of Syrians in the country living in poverty up to 70 percent from 50 percent.

Nine out of 10 Syrian refugees registered in Jordan and living in urban areas are below the national poverty line. Some two-thirds of Syrian families there are living in debt. In addition, some 62,000 Syrian refugees in Egypt are living in poverty.

In response to the sharp rise in poverty, the UNHCR has called for “swifter disbursement of pledged funds, including the record pledges made at the London Conference.”

Refugees Living in Fear of Right-Wing Protesters on Greek Island

Refugees on the Greek island of Chios are living in fear of attack by local right-wing protesters.

Some 3,000 refugees, primarily from Afghanistan and Syria, have been stranded on the island since the E.U.-Turkey migrant deal slowed the flow of refugees into Greece earlier this year.

Refugees at the Dipethe camp told Al-Jazeera that right-wing protesters, reportedly including supporters of the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn party, have recently been holding demonstrations outside the site. The refugees are confined to the camps, awaiting deportation to Turkey or asylum in Greece.

Right-wing locals “tried to attack us [last week], and police stopped them. We didn’t sleep that night,” said Ahmad Hamdan, a Syrian lawyer. “If it weren’t for the police, the Nazis would have attacked here.”

Greek volunteers who have been working with refugees have also faced threats and in one incident a physical attack. Antonis Vorrias, a well-known volunteer, was assaulted by a right-wing protester in June when the protester also punched a 15-year-old Syrian boy.

The attack happened in full view of the police, but no charges have been pressed against the assailant.

Ethiopia Famine and Potential Crisis Over Displaced People

The former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, has warned of a devastating drought and impending famine in Ethiopia that could lead to new migration.

The recently appointed U.N. climate envoy warned world leaders that another Horn of Africa catastrophe was in the making while they were distracted by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

More than 10 million Ethiopians are at risk of malnutrition. Past famines in Ethiopia and neighboring Somalia have displaced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes into internal camps or into other countries.

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