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Executive Summary for May 17th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including 60 births per day in Rohingya camps, displacement in sub-Saharan Africa doubling in 2017, and a U.S. gubernatorial race being poisoned by scare tactics over immigration.

Published on May 17, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Rohingya Camps in Bangladesh Seeing 60 Births Every Day

Some 60 babies a day are being born to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The vast refugee camps have seen 16,000 births since the beginning of the crisis, according to UNICEF.

Fewer than one in five of the newborns were delivered in health facilities, UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency, said, underlining the desperate conditions.

“Around 60 babies a day are taking their first breath in appalling conditions, away from home, to mothers who have survived displacement, violence, trauma and, at times, rape,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF’s representative in Bangladesh.

“It is impossible to know the true number of babies who have been or will be born as a result of sexual violence,” Beigbeder said. “It is vital that each and every new and expectant mother and every newborn receive all the help and support they need.”

There are 18,300 pregnant women among the mainly Rohingya Muslim population that fled Myanmar. But Bangladeshi health ministry sources told Reuters that 25,000 women and girls among the refugees are pregnant.

Only one-fifth of a U.N. appeal for nearly $1 billion to assist the Rohingya has so far been pledged by international donors.

Number of Forcibly Displaced People Doubles in Sub-Saharan Africa

Every day in 2017, 15,000 people were forced from their homes in sub-Saharan Africa. The figure, compiled by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, is double that of the previous year.

Of the 11.8 million people worldwide who were displaced within their countries by conflict last year, around half are from the region.

The IDMC is calling for more support for internally displaced people (IDPs).

“We hope this report will be a wake-up call,” said Alexandra Bilak, director of the IDMC. “The numbers keep increasing and we’re not seeing the kind of responses that would be needed to prevent and reduce internal displacement.”

The worst-hit country is Democratic Republic of the Congo, where almost 2.2 million people fled their homes last year. Crises in South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic together accounted for 2.1 million IDPs.

Aid experts warned that emergency responses to displacement must balance support for IDPs, refugees and host communities.

In addition, 2.6 million people were forced to leave their homes as a result of storms and floods in sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, said the IDMC.

Deportation Bus and Criminal Aliens Rhetoric in U.S. Gubernatorial Race

Anti-immigrant populism has flared in the U.S. state of Georgia, where a “deportation bus” features in an election campaign. The gubernatorial race has also seen talk of “criminal illegal aliens.”

Michael Williams, the state senator and former state co-chair for Donald Trump’s campaign, has advertised a “Deportation Bus” that he says will be used to send home undocumented migrants. The back of the bus, which warns of murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molesters and other criminals on board, bears the words, “Follow me to Mexico.”

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