Right now, more people are living in refugee camps than at any point since the aftermath of World War II. Indeed, for the first time since the period following second World War more than 50 million people have been displaced by war and prosecution. Over the last year alone the refugee population has grown by more than six million people.
So what’s driving this massive increase in refugees? Compared to earlier decades both Latin America, and South East Asia are, in general, more stable. The Balkans and most of Eastern Europe are also relatively peaceful. Yet a rash of conflicts in central Africa have destabilized the continent, while Sudan and South Sudan remain a problem.
Meanwhile, conflicts across the Middle East are driving millions from their homes. In recent days tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Iraq as the radical Islamic terrorist group has marched across the northern half of the country all but unchallenged. Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Pakistan both remain unstable and Syria has collapsed into a failed state.
Over 2.5 million refugees hail from Afghanistan alone, the largest number from any single country. Pakistan is playing host to more than 1.6 million refugees, sheltering more than any other country. Pakistan itself, however, is highly unstable. Most Afghanis have been displaced by the United States war in their home country.
America’s other war, the Iraq War, has also created millions of refugees and helped sow instability across the region. In the last few weeks alone it is estimated that as many as 300,000 people have been displaced, a staggering number for such a short period of time.
Before the recent ISIS assault, it was estimated that Iraq had generated over 400,000 refugees and is home to more than 200,000 refugees from other countries. Most have originated from Syria. Indeed, nearly 2.5 million refugees have been created by the Syrian civil war.
Will Aid Organizations be overwhelmed with the global refugee problem?
Aid organizations have long struggled to deal with the global refugee problem. Simply put, need for services have always outstripped available resources. With many advanced nations, long relied upon for their donations, suffering from fiscal constraints, resources may even been drying up.
What’s more, wealthy nations are increasingly bulking at accepting more refugees. With unemployment across Europe and North America already so high and social service networks strained, many advanced countries are not longer willing to accept high numbers of refugees. Historically, wealthy countries hosted as many as 30 percent of refugees, but that number has now dropped to about 14 percent.