In the week after Russia invaded Ukraine, more than a million people had to leave the country. The flow of refugees on the Ukraine-Poland border stretched for kilometers. Children cry in the freezing cold as the waiting time reaches 60 hours. Refugees discuss loved ones they have been forced to leave behind – sometimes without knowing if their loved one is alive or dead. And the United Nations predicts these refugees could be followed by millions more – potentially leading to “the biggest refugee crisis of this century”.
Ukrainians are looking for a safe harbor, they are fortunate to receive extraordinary support from the international community. The UN Refugee Agency, the International Rescue Committee and other organizations have sent emergency teams and resources. People around the world, including in Russia, are taking to the streets to condemn the invasion – and to donate to organizations that provide aid directly to the people of Ukraine.
The United States has committed $54 million (€49 million) in humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees, with Congress considering an additional $2.9 billion as the situation escalates.
While these efforts are important, they also draw attention to the mercilessly lacking infrastructure of the United States to assist refugees from Ukraine and beyond. Instead of welcoming refugees with open arms, current efforts have kept them within reach.
While the United States has provided aid to help other countries welcome Ukrainian refugees, its own annual refugee limit remains at just 125,000. Worse still, the US resettled only about 4,400 refugees in January – a much lower rate than the Trump-era annual cap of 15,000.
And the US approach to the recent refugee crises has also been difficult. In Haiti, in just a few months, tens of thousands of people have fled a devastating earthquake, a deadly tropical storm and a political climate that erupted following the assassination of their president. Instead of welcoming these migrants, the United States hunted them down, literally driving the refugees at the border on horseback and deporting thousands back to unsafe conditions.
In Nigeria, the Boko Haram conflict has displaced nearly three million people over the past 12 years – leaving many malnourished, homeless and ill.
The United States has had no trouble offering military and counterterrorism assistance in the fight against Boko Haram, but has never even offered temporary protected status to those the terrorist group has infiltrated. .
In Syria, the ongoing civil war has created the largest refugee crisis of the 21st century to date. After a brief spike in admissions at the end of the Obama administration, the United States has once again cut the number of accepted Syrian refugees to hundreds.
And in Afghanistan, the refugee crisis is in large part the result of the actions of the United States itself. After waging war on their land for 20 years, US leaders have allocated $13.3 billion to resettle Afghan refugees – a dismal 0.6 percent of the 2, 3 million dollars spent on the entire war. The reality is, too many American institutions are structured to wage war rather than promote peace.
Leaders waste trillions of dollars trying to impose America’s will on the world and, as a last thought, make it clear that a fraction of that should be spent helping those caught in the fallout. .
Meanwhile, the United Nations estimates that there are 84 million people in forced displacement around the world, including 26.6 million refugees.
And the escalating crisis on climate change will trigger a refugee wave unlike anything the world has ever seen. A World Bank report estimates that around 200 million people could be displaced over the next three decades.
However, as David Miliband, president and chief executive officer of the International Rescue Committee, reminds us, the refugee crisis is “manageable, not unsolvable.” . We know what to do. Attract everyone. Help them get a job. Help refugee children – more than half of whom are out of school – get an education. Supporting families with a fresh start in a new place.
Some argue that this basic rule poses security threats or costs too much. But while improper screening of refugees can indeed be dangerous, withholding aid – and thus leaving scores of people desperate with nothing to lose, some in Some of them will be angry with those who have contributed to their dominance – at their own risk.
As for the cost: With US military spending at an all-time high in peacetime – 12 times what Russia spends on military – why does the US always seem to be able to find the money to intervene? world problems, but never helped clean up messy results?
It would be good to start calculating the human cost of your interventions before implementing them. One way or another, the consequences of its actions will inevitably reach its shores.
If it is to effectively defend against the kind of violence and aggression that is manifesting itself in Ukraine right now, it must also demonstrate what it is for: the right of all to live in peace.
As Miliband said of the refugee crisis: “This is not just a crisis, it is a test.
“It is a test of our humanity. It’s a test of who we are in the Western world – who we are and what we stand for. ” (© The Washington Post)
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/too-many-us-institutions-are-structured-for-waging-war-not-for-fostering-peace-41429603.html Too many American institutions are structured to wage war, not to promote peace