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20 April 2018

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Early rains struck Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps, causing flooding. Photo: IOM

As First Rains Hit Rohingya Refugee Camps, Scale of Monsoon Challenges, Need for Heavy Equipment Triggers Funding Concerns

Posted on Fri. April 20, 2018​​

Cox's Bazar – Humanitarian agencies welcomed the arrival yesterday (19/4) of vital road clearing equipment as early rains struck Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps causing flooding and highlighting the severe challenges ahead when the monsoon proper arrives.

The first instalment of machinery, which included three excavators, is part of a stable of key equipment –  which will also include bulldozers, compactor rollers, track loaders and all-terrain vehicles – being provided under a multi-agency response. The initiative involving IOM, WFP and UNHCR, will allow rapid clearing of key access roads and waterways during the serious flooding and landslides expected to occur during heavy rain.

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Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 18,575 in 2018; Deaths Reach 559

Posted on Fri. April 20, 2018​​

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 18,575 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 108 days of 2018, with about 40 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (38 per cent) and Spain, at roughly 20 per cent. This compares with 43,645 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 205,613 at this time in 2016.

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A researcher interviews a relocated family. Photo: IOM

IOM Training Manual Helps Vietnamese Authorities Plan Relocation of Communities Displaced by Environmental and Climate Change

Posted on Fri. April 20, 2018​​

Ho Chi Minh City – Viet Nam experiences frequent natural hazards including typhoons, flooding and landslides. These are expected to increase with environmental and climate change. Planned relocation – an adaptive strategy to respond to physical and economic impacts of environmental changes – is the permanent, voluntary migration of people to a new location with the support of government policy or projects, which includes the reconstruction of communities’ infrastructure, services, housing and livelihoods at their destination. 

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  • AFP reported that the first rains of the year have flooded parts of the crowded Rohingya camps in Bangladesh, wreaking havoc and raising fears for nearly 1 million refugees ahead of the monsoon.
     
  • Dhaka Tribune reported that the Bangladeshi government and organizations have taken up a project to plant vetiver grass to prevent mudslides in Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.
     
  • The Irrawaddy ran an op-ed noting that Rohingya in Myanmar and neighbouring countries will continue to struggle for recognition as a community, and will perhaps continue to live in fear of falling victim to human traffickers and terrorists.
     
  • Reliefweb reported about an EU-funded project that aims to link pre-departure and post-arrival support to facilitate the social and economic integration of resettled refugees in the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal and Romania.
     
  • IANS/AKI reported comments by Premier Paolo Gentiloni that Italy has tried hard to manage migration from Africa, the Middle East and Asia – a "long-term" phenomenon that must be a top priority for the European Union.
     
  • News Deeply ran an op-ed noting that the release of the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms, which Italy impounded a month ago, does not spell the end of Italy’s war on rescue groups.
     
  • The New Dawn reported that the Liberian government has assisted the return of more than 2,282 stranded Liberian migrants from the sub-region over the years, according to the Liberia Refugee Repatriation Resettlement Commission.
     
  • The East Hampton Star reported about Brave Journeys, an anthology of first-person narratives of teenagers leaving home – usually a country in Central America – and crossing mountains and rivers, often alone and always scared as they made their harrowing journeys into the US.
     
  • Open Democracy reported about a regional study by ILO and IOM that questions some of the commonly held assumptions about which factors lead to better outcomes for migrant workers.

  • The Sydney Morning Herald reported about the gang violence in Central America that has sparked a regional exodus.
     
  • The Telegraph reported that refugees and migrants who cross by boat from Turkey to Greece’s Aegean islands must be allowed to travel on to the mainland, a Greek court has ruled, raising concerns about a fresh wave of asylum seekers to Europe.