Executive Summary for October 18th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including more Rohingya refugees crossing the Bangladeshi border, a U.S. judge halting the Trump administration’s travel ban once again and the E.U. reaching a milestone in cash aid to refugees in Turkey.

Published on Oct. 18, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Rohingya Refugees Stuck Near Bangladesh Border

Between 10,000 and 15,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh in the past three days, and are stranded at the border by security checks, a U.N. refugee agency spokesman said.

Many were sleeping in the open fields under heavy rain, having already traveled for days to reach the border, the Associated Press reported.

At least 582,000 Rohingya refugees have fled a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state since Aug. 25 in what U.N. officials have described as ethnic cleansing. Around 60 percent of the new refugees are children.

Many of the arrivals described being starved in order to forced them to leave. Rohingya still in Rakhine face a “desperate choice whether to stay or go,” said Jens Laerke, spokesman of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

U.S. Judge Suspends Travel Ban

A U.S. federal judge in Hawaii temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s travel ban a few hours before it was due to take effect.

Derrick Watson ruled the new ban “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.” Watson also temporarily blocked an earlier version of the ban in March before it was partially reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The latest version added more nations to the ban, including Venezuela and Chad, and made the restriction permanent, rather than for a temporary period. A separate suspension of all refugee resettlement in the U.S. expires on October 24. Trump has since curtailed the number of refugees in the coming year to 45,000.

E.U. Cash Assistance Reaches 1 Million Refugees in Turkey

The E.U. has provided cash assistance to 1 million Syrian refugees in Turkey in the year since it launched the aid program in exchange for stopping refugee boats to Europe.

Under the deal, the E.U. promised Turkey 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in aid as well as visa liberalization and progress in E.U. accession talks to curb the passage of boats on the Aegean Sea. Among the aid was a program to provide preloaded debit cards to vulnerable refugees.

The number of boat crossings dropped dramatically after the deal was agreed in March 2016, but have been climbing up in recent months, leaving refugees on the Greek islands – where new arrivals are confined – in overcrowded camps.

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