ABSTRACT: In 2015, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees accommodated over 15 million refugees, mostly in refugee camps in developing countries. The World Food Program provided these refugees with food aid, in cash or in kind. Refugees' impacts on host countries are controversial and little understood. This unique study analyzes the economic impacts of refugees on host-country economies within a 10-km radius of three Congolese refugee camps in Rwanda. Simulations using Monte Carlo methods reveal that cash aid to refugees creates significant positive income spillovers to host-country businesses and households. An additional adult refugee receiving cash aid increases annual real income in the local economy by $205 to $253, significantly more than the $120-$126 in aid each refugee receives. Trade between the local economy and the rest of Rwanda increases by $49 to $55. The impacts are lower for in-kind food aid, a finding relevant to development aid generally.
Project description:Background:Little is known about violence against children in refugee camps and settlements, and the evidence-base concerning mental health outcomes of youth in refugee settings in low and middle-income countries is similarly small. Evidence is needed to understand patterns of violence against children in refugee camps, and associations with adverse mental health outcomes. Methods:Surveys were conducted with adolescent refugees (aged 13-17) in two refugee contexts - Kiziba Camp, Rwanda (n = 129) (refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo) and Adjumani and Kiryandongo refugee settlements, Uganda (n = 471) (refugees from South Sudan). Latent Class Analysis was utilized to identify classes of violence exposure (including exposure to witnessing household violence, verbal abuse, physical violence and sexual violence). Logistic regressions explored the association between latent class of violence exposure and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Results:In Rwanda, a two-class solution was identified, with Class 1 (n = 33) representing high levels of exposure to violence and Class 2 (n = 96) representing low levels of exposure. In Uganda, a three-class solution was identified: Class 1 (high violence; n = 53), Class 2 (low violence, n = 100) and Class 3 (no violence, n = 317). Logistic regression analyses indicated that latent violence class was associated with increased odds of high anxiety symptoms in Rwanda (AOR 3.56, 95% CI 1.16-0.95), and high v. no violence class was associated with depression (AOR 3.97, 95% CI 1.07-7.61) and anxiety symptoms (AOR 2.04, 95% CI 1.05-3.96) in Uganda. Conclusions:The present results support the existing evidence-base concerning the association between violence and adverse mental health outcomes, while identifying differences in patterns and associations between refugee youth in two different contexts.
Project description:Bangladesh is currently hosting more than one million stateless Rohingya refugees, who fled from the Rakhine State to avoid genocide and serious crimes against humanity persecuted by the Myanmar Army. The newly arrived Rohingyas were accommodated in overcrowded refugee camps in Cox's Bazar District (CBD). The camps are highly vulnerable to landslides, tropical cyclones, flash-flooding, and communicable disease outbreak. Although a number of improvement measures are ongoing, however, no study to date has addressed Rohingyas' self-adopted strategies to mitigate disaster risks. Consequently, this paper aims to explore how refugees cope with risks associated with environmental hazards in the Kutupalong Rohingya Camp in CBD. A mixed-methods research strategy incorporating both quantitative household questionnaire survey and qualitative focus group discussions (FGDs) techniques were applied. In total 250 Rohingya refugees were selected for the questionnaire survey using a stratified random sampling method from camps 17 and 19, and two FGDs (male and female-only) were carried out in camp 13 involving 21 Rohingya participants. Results derived from the study show that responding to early warning systems, storing dried food and medicine, utilising available resources, relocating to safer shelters, and keeping hopes high were some of the coping strategies practised by the respondents. Literacy level imposed a significant impact over respondents' perception to accept various measures. For instance, the probability of storing dried food in preparation for disasters was 4 times higher among literate Rohingya compared to their illiterate counterparts. Similarly, for literate respondents, the probability was 20 times higher to store medicine than for illiterate. Guaranteed distribution of shelter strengthening kits among all refugee households, the inclusion of disaster risk awareness and preparedness training, ensuring safe and dignified return in Myanmar, and global and regional cooperation to address the refugee crisis are some of the propositions recommended in this study for improving Rohingyas' future adaptation strategies in a humanitarian context.
Project description:The recent adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees formally recognizes not only the importance of supporting the nearly 26 million people who have sought asylum from conflict and persecution but also of easing the pressures on receiving areas and host countries. However, few countries may enforce the Compact out of concern over the economic or environmental repercussions of hosting refugees. We examine whether narratives of refugee-driven landscape change are empirically generalizable to continental Africa, which fosters 34% of all refugees. Estimates of the causal effects of the number of refugees-located in 493 camps distributed across 49 African countries-on vegetation from 2000 to 2016 are provided. Using a quasi-experimental design, we find refugees bear a small increase in vegetation condition while contributing to increased deforestation. Such a combination is mainly explained not by land clearance and massive biomass extraction but by agricultural expansion in refugee-hosting areas. A one percent increase in the number of refugees amplifies the transition from dominant forested areas to cropland by 1.4 percentage points. These findings suggest that changes in vegetation condition may ensue with the elevation of population-based constraints on food security.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Refugees typically spend years in a state of protracted displacement prior to permanent resettlement. Little is known about how various prior displacement contexts influence long-term mental health in resettled refugees. In this study, we aimed to determine whether having lived in refugee camps <i>v.</i> community settings prior to resettlement impacted the course of refugees' psychological distress over the 4 years following arrival in Australia.<h4>Methods</h4>Participants were 1887 refugees who had taken part in the Building a New Life in Australia study, which comprised of five annual face-to-face or telephone surveys from the year of first arrival in Australia.<h4>Results</h4>Latent growth curve modelling revealed that refugees who had lived in camps showed greater initial psychological distress (as indexed by the K6) and faster decreases in psychological distress in the 4 years after resettling in Australia, compared to those who had lived in community settings. Investigation of refugee camp characteristics revealed that poorer access to services in camps was associated with greater initial distress after resettlement, and greater ability to meet one's basic needs in camps was associated with faster decreases in psychological distress over time.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These findings highlight the importance of the displacement context in influencing the course of post-resettlement mental health. Increasing available services and meeting basic needs in the displacement environment may promote better mental health outcomes in resettled refugees.
Project description:In recent years, global forced displacement has reached record levels, with 22.5 million refugees worldwide. Forecasting refugee movements is important, as accurate predictions can help save refugee lives by allowing governments and NGOs to conduct a better informed allocation of humanitarian resources. Here, we propose a generalized simulation development approach to predict the destinations of refugee movements in conflict regions. In this approach, we synthesize data from UNHCR, ACLED and Bing Maps to construct agent-based simulations of refugee movements. We apply our approach to develop, run and validate refugee movement simulations set in three major African conflicts, estimating the distribution of incoming refugees across destination camps, given the expected total number of refugees in the conflict. Our simulations consistently predict more than 75% of the refugee destinations correctly after the first 12 days, and consistently outperform alternative naive forecasting techniques. Using our approach, we are also able to reproduce key trends in refugee arrival rates found in the UNHCR data.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>More than 100 million people were forcibly displaced over the last decade, including millions of refugees displaced across international borders. Although refugee health and well-being has gained increasing attention from researchers in recent years, few studies have examined refugee birth outcomes or newborn health on a regional or global scale. This study uses routine health information system data to examine neonatal mortality burden and trends in refugee camps between 2006 and 2017.<h4>Methods</h4>Refugee population and mortality data were exported from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Health Information System (HIS) database. Tableau was used to export the data. Stata was used for data cleaning and statistical analysis. Neonatal mortality burdens and trends in refugee camps were analyzed and compared to national and subnational neonatal mortality rates captured by household surveys.<h4>Findings</h4>One hundred fifty refugee camps in 21 countries were included in this study, with an average population of 1,725,433 between 2006 and 2017. A total of 663,892 live births and 3382 neonatal deaths were captured during this period. Annual country-level refugee camp neonatal mortality rates (NMR) ranged from 12 to 56 neonatal deaths per 1000 live births. In most countries and years where national population-based surveys are available, refugee camp NMR as reported in the UNHCR HIS was lower than that of the immediate host community.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The UNHCR HIS provides insights into the neonatal mortality burden among refugees in camp settings and issues to consider in design and use of routine health information systems to monitor neonatal health in sub-national populations. Increased visibility of neonatal deaths and stillbirths among displaced populations can drive advocacy and inform decisions needed to strengthen health systems. Efforts to count every stillbirth and neonatal death are critical, as well as improvements to reporting systems and mechanisms for data review within broader efforts to improve the quality of neonatal care practices within and outside of health facilities.
Project description:<h4>Importance</h4>At the end of August 2017, violence and persecution in Myanmar's Rakhine state forced nearly 1 million Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh for their lives and seek shelter. Many refugees, after their traumatic experiences leaving Myanmar, experience mental health problems.<h4>Objectives</h4>To identify the prevalence of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSSs) among displaced Rohingya adults and investigate the association of predisplacement abuse and postdisplacement factors with PTSSs.<h4>Design, setting, and participants</h4>This cross-sectional analysis from a household survey of 1184 Rohingya adults aged 18 years or older was conducted in 8 refugee camps within Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, from September 17, 2019, to January 11, 2020.<h4>Main outcomes and measures</h4>The Impact of Event Scale-Revised was used to assess PTSSs. The possible range of scores was 0 to 88; moderate PTSSs were classified using a score cutoff of 33 to 38 and severe PTSSs were classified using a score cutoff of 39 and above. Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) were estimated using a multivariable logistic regression model adjusted for potential confounders.<h4>Results</h4>Of 1184 participants (625 men [52.8%]; mean [SD] age, 35.1 [13.4] years), 552 (46.6%) had severe PTSSs, and 274 (23.1%) had moderate PTSSs. In Bangladesh, refugees are not legally permitted to work in refugees camps, but 276 of 1165 respondents (23.7%) had temporary paid jobs. Moreover, 113 of the 276 working participants (40.9%) and 430 of the 889 nonworking participants (48.4%) reported severe PTSSs. A total of 496 respondents (41.9%) reported inadequate humanitarian aid for their families, and among them, 281 (56.7%) reported severe PTSSs. A total of 136 of 1177 respondents (11.6%) experienced both physical and sexual abuse in Myanmar, and 87 (64.0%) of them had severe PTSSs. The multivariable analysis showed a reduced risk of PTSSs with appropriate humanitarian assistance (aPR, 0.50; CI, 0.38-0.65). Experiencing both physical and sexual abuse before displacement had a significant association with PTSSs (aPR, 2.09; CI, 1.41-3.07). Opportunities for paid employment in refugee camps also reduced the risks of PTSSs (aPR, 0.69; CI, 0.52-0.91).<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>The high prevalence of self-reported severe PTSSs in Rohingya refugees suggests that the trauma of displacement and the violent consequences of military crackdowns still exist. In the Rohingya camp settings of Bangladesh, employment opportunity and sufficient humanitarian aid hold promise as potential interventions to reduce the high prevalence of severe PTSSs. Mental health symptoms were more prevalent in adults who experienced physical abuse or physical and sexual abuse before displacement.
Project description:BACKGROUND:According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 44,000 people are forced to flee their homes every day due to conflict or persecution. Although refugee camps are designed to provide a safe temporary location for displaced persons, increasing evidence demonstrates that the camps themselves have become stressful and dangerous long-term places-especially for women. However, there is limited literature focused on refugee women's perspectives on their insecurity. This qualitative study sought to better understand the ways in which women experienced insecurity at a refugee camp in Kenya. METHODS AND FINDINGS:Between May 2017 and June 2017, ethnographic semi-structured interviews accompanied by observation were conducted with a snowball sampling of 20 Somali (n = 10) and Ethiopian Oromo (n = 10) women, 18 years and older, who had had at least 1 pregnancy while living in Kakuma Refugee Camp. The interviews were orally translated, transcribed, entered into Dedoose software for coding, and analyzed utilizing an ethnographic approach. Four sources of insecurity became evident: tension between refugees and the host community, intra- or intercultural conflicts, direct abuse and/or neglect by camp staff and security personnel, and unsafe situations in accessing healthcare-both in traveling to healthcare facilities and in the facilities themselves. Potential limitations include nonrandom sampling, the focus on a specific population, the inability to record interviews, and possible subtle errors in translation. CONCLUSIONS:In this study, we observed that women felt insecure in almost every area of the camp, with there being no place in the camp where the women felt safe. As it is well documented that insecure and stressful settings may have deleterious effects on health, understanding the sources of insecurity for women in refugee camps can help to guide services for healthcare in displaced settings. By creating a safer environment for these women in private, in public, and in the process of accessing care in refugee camps, we can improve health for them and their babies.
Project description:The current study explores the perceived quality of life of Syrian refugees who have entered the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Two hundred and seventy participants residing in refugee camps in the Erbil region in Kurdistan completed the WHOQOL-BREF, which measures Quality of Life (QOL) within four domains; physical, psychological, social relationships and environment. Syrian refugees in Kurdistan scored significantly lower for general population norms on physical health, psychological and environment QOL, and score significantly lower for physical health and psychological QOL for refugees in the Gaza strip. However, respondents in the current sample scored significantly higher on environment QOL compared to refugees in the Gaza strip, and significantly higher on all the QOL domains than those reported for refugees in West Africa. Finally, Syrian refugees in Kurdistan scored significantly higher than general population norms for social relationships QOL. The current findings provide the first report of QOL domain scores among Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan camps and suggest that social relationships and environmental QOL circumstances are relatively satisfactory, and that further investigation might be focused on physical and psychological QOL.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Introducing sustainability and self-reliance is essential in chronic humanitarian emergencies before financial assistance is phased out. In Pakistan-based Afghan refugee camps, this was attempted through shifting from indoor residual spraying (IRS) to the subsidized sale of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) for prevention of malaria and anthroponotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL). Here we outline the strategy and document the progress to provide guidance for replication of similar approaches in other chronic refugee situations. METHODS: The operational monitoring data presented were collected through: (i) two surveys of knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP); (ii) routine sales reporting of health-care providers; (iii) records completed during field visits; and (iv) registers used during annual re-treatment campaigns. RESULTS: From 2000 until 2003, subsidized ITN sales expanded from 17 to 44 camps. Based on 2003 sales records, maximum coverage from subsidized sales exceeded 50% in 13 camps and 20% in an additional 14 camps. Free annual treatment campaigns showed that many refugees were in possession of non-programme nets, which were either locally-made or had leaked from an ITN programme in Afghanistan. Estimated re-treatment coverage of sold and existing nets through annual campaigns exceeded 43% in all camps and was above 70% in the majority. CONCLUSION: Subsidized sales of ITNs have effectively introduced the components of sustainability and self-reliance to the prevention of malaria and ACL in Afghan refugee camps. Similar approaches should be investigated in other chronic refugee situations to discourage expectations of continuing humanitarian donations that cannot be fulfilled.