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11 June 2018

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Flash flooding has damaged key infrastructure including this bridge in Balukhali camp. Photo: IOM 2018

Two Days of Heavy Rain Hit Bangladesh’s Rohingya Refugee Camps – Over 31,000 at High Risk from Flooding, Landslides

Cox's Bazar (IOM) - Heavy monsoon rains that began on Saturday (9/6) have caused severe structural damage to Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar Rohingya refugee camps. Over 31,000 of the camps’ one million refugees, who fled Myanmar, are still living in areas considered to be at high risk of deadly flooding and landslides.  

Within 24 hours of the rains starting, humanitarian agencies reported some 59 incidents, including landslides, water logging, extreme wind and lightning strikes. The incidents are being mapped and shared on an interagency communal incident overview platform. Over the same period aid agencies reported that over 9,000 people were affected and that this number will increase as the rains continue. 

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Returned migrants have something to eat and fill out papers for IOM at Yaounde Nsimalen Airport in Cameroon. Credit: Mbom Sixtus/IPS

“A Map and Plan”: When Greener Pastures End in a Blazing Desert

Cameroon (IPS) – “Sometimes when I’m alone, I still get flashes of the grisly images I saw in the desert. I feared I was going to die out there. The people transporting us were ready to get rid of any of us where necessary,” Njoya Danialo recalled as he narrated the ordeal he endured traveling through the Sahara in search of greener pastures.

He told IPS that when the desert winds get too wild, the smugglers take refuge inside and under their vehicles, while passengers perched on luggage in overloaded pickup trucks are left at the mercy of the deadly, dust-filled wind.

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How Migrant YouTubers are Combatting Xenophobia and Discrimination

IOM – They have created new ways to express themselves, have fun, and even earn a living. Some of them publish videos monthly, weekly, and the most active ones almost every day. The list of issues they engage is long: From fashion to video games, and well beyond.

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Oday: "Everybody wants to leave the country and to find a better life, but not all of them have the chance."

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  • The Bangladesh Post reported that two days of heavy rains have triggered landslides and damaged makeshift camps on hill slopes in Cox’s Bazar, forcing thousands of Rohingya refugees to take shelter in schools and mosques.
     
  • Haberler reported that a total of 629 undocumented migrants have been rescued in the central Mediterranean, a European migrant rescue agency said on Sunday.
     
  • CNN reported that many of the thousands of people who pass the desolate desert road of Yemen every month from the Horn of Africa are unaware of the war that has been raging in the nation.
     
  • Vice’s Broadly reported that people in Italy and Spain have been slapped with criminal charges of human trafficking and criminal association – all because they tried to rescue migrants crossing over into Europe.
     
  • Nigerian Watch reported that a Nigerian returnee, who just arrived from Libya, revealed how he participated in the mass burial of 5,300 bodies in a single day on the Libyan shore.
     
  • The Arab Daily News ran an op-ed noting that migrants are not looking for ‘five-star’ lodging but once accosted safely need protection and aid in norms with countries’ human, egalitarian and fraternal values.
     
  • Xinhua reported that the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and IOM have signed a memorandum of understanding to help small-scale cross-border traders who conduct their businesses across borders in the region.
     
  • Intellinews reported that the movement of migrants through the Western Balkans has intensified in 2018 and peaked in May.

  • IPS reported that experts are urging lawmakers at the highest levels to have a ‘revolution in thinking’ to tackle the twin problem of sustainable food production and migration.
     
  • World Economic Forum reported that the often sensational and one-dimensional reporting on African international migrants has played a role in invoking fears of the so-called ‘flood’ of migrants to Europe’s shores.
     
  • All Africa reported that according to a report by UNCTAD, African migration could boost growth and positively transform the structure of the continent's economy.