Tuesday 11 August 2015

Refugees ................... a global perspective

One of the BelperStuff editorial team noticed this on the New York Times website. The series of graphics map the flow of refugees around our planet. The plight of these poor people is hard to imagine for those of us enjoying our affluent and safe lives.

Lifting quotes from the NYT report we discover that, "nearly 60 million people are displaced around the world because of conflict and persecution, the largest number ever recorded by the United Nations".

85% of all refugees live within the ringed area 

To understand what this means for the host countries:

This chart is already out of date and massively understates, for example, the number of Syrian refugees that have sought shelter in the Lebanon and other middle-eastern countries.

So what is the situation in the UK?

For an impartial source of information we looked here: United Nations Refugee Agency website page for the UK where this can be read:

At the end of 2014, the population of refugees, pending asylum cases and stateless persons made up just 0.24% of the population. That’s 117,161 refugees, 36,383 pending asylum cases and 16 stateless persons.

The top ten countries of origin are as follows:
Eritrea (3,239), Pakistan (2,711), Syria (2,081), Iran (2,011), Albania (1,576), Sudan (1,449), Sri Lanka (1,282), Afghanistan (1,136), Nigeria (875), India (689)
What benefits do asylum seekers receive in the UK?
The majority of asylum seekers do not have the right to work in the United Kingdom and so must rely on state support.
Housing is provided, but asylum seekers cannot choose where it is, and it is often ‘hard to let’ properties which Council tenants do not want to live in.
Cash support is available, and is currently set at £36.95 per person, per week, which makes it £5.28 a day for food, sanitation and clothing.
(BelperStuff calculates that costs 1p per day per capita to support all the refugees seeking shelter in the UK).
(Source: Home Office)

How does Philip Hammond (UK Foreign Secretary) respond to this:

The world cries out for wisdom yet the UK government comes up with this sort of stuff. I best end this post now before I start to dig too deeply into my store of adjectives.

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