1. Iraq Refugees  

Despite continued coverage of the war in Iraq, we never hear about the millions who have fled from their homes.  Most find refuge in another home or poor neighborhoods, not refugee camps.  Most lack access to jobs, health care, and education.  Iraqi’s are the largest and fastest growing displaced population in the world.

  • 4 million Iraqis are refugees or internally displaced persons (UNHCR)
  • 40,000 Iraqis flee their homes every month (UNHCR)
  • 50% of the displaced are children (UNICEF)

2. Sri Lanka War

More people were killed in Sri Lanka in 2006 than in Afghanistan due to the long running war between the government and rebel Tamil Tigers.

  • 600,000 people have suffered homelessness (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
  • 4,500 World Vision sponsored children have been displaced (World Vision)
  • 70,000 have died in the 24-year conflict (The Economist)

3. Burma Trafficking

Each year tens of thousands of impoverished Burmese women  and children are lured by human traffickers promising well-paying jobs in Thailand, China, Bangladesh, Malaysia, or South Korea.  They end up being sold into brothels and forced into slave labor.

  • 20,000 – 30,000 sex workers come from Burma to Thailand (Coalition Against Trafficking in Women)
  • 400 traffickers were identified last year (US Department of State)
  • $220 average annual income in Burma (UNICEF)

4. Somalia Anarchy

In 2007 hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled Mogadishu (the capital), as Ethiopian forces fought to oust Islamic militants.  Fleeing children contracted life-threatening diarrhea and their desperate mothers were often mugged and raped.

  • 400,000 people fled the latest violence in Mogadishu (The Economist)
  • 15% of children affected by recent conflicts are suffering from malnutrition (Food Security Assessment Unit)
  • 70% of children do not attend school (UNICEF)

5. Chechnya Adversity

Two different civil wars have taken a heavy toll on the civilian population in Chechnya’s civilians.  More than 200,000 people lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands have lost everything they had or were forced to flee.  While some of the 220,000 homes that were destroyed are slowly being rebuilt there are still formidable challenges.

  • 70,000 people are still displaced from fighting (Norwegian Refugee Council and Danish Refugee Council)
  • 186 kidnappings occurred last year (Memorial Society)
  • 80% of Chechen families live below the official Russian poverty line (Russian Ministry of Labor and Social Development)

A Free One: Democratic Republic of Congo

Josh Ruxin of the NYTimes says:

Congo’s crisis is of greater human magnitude than Darfur’s, but – unlike Darfur’s – it is clearly solvable. Despite Congo’s mixture of ethnic rivalries, contested natural resources and armed interference by neighbors, why am I so confident? Because there’s a proven track record of international cooperation successfully stopping Congolese bloodletting, as it did in 2002 when a United Nations peacekeeping force helped end the four-year civil war.

  • 50% of school children aren’t in school (World Vision)
  • 1,000 die daily from hunger and disease (World Vision)
  • Congo hosts the world’s largest UN force (NYTimes)

Unless otherwise noted all information comes from the Winter 2007 edition of World Vision’s magazine (pdf). The ENOUGH Project has more information about the Congo Crisis and other known genocides.

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