Syria and the Refugee Iceberg
If the only refugee crisis that the world faced today was in Syria, it would be challenging and heartbreaking enough. But the tragic truth is that many other refugee crises around the world never make it into the international headlines.
WASHINGTON, DC – If the only refugee crisis that the world faced today were in Syria, it would be challenging and heartbreaking enough. But the tragic truth is that the Syrian crisis is the tip of an enormous – and expanding – iceberg. Many other refugee crises around the world never make it into the international headlines. Indeed, a staggering 86% of the world’s refugees live in developing countries, most of which draw very little media attention.
Chad is one such country. With roughly 13 million people, Chad is situated at the center of immense regional turmoil, conflict, and instability. As a result, it hosts more than 372,000 refugees. These are people who have fled violence in Sudan’s Darfur region to the east of Chad, a shattering civil war in the Central African Republic to its south, and the escalating terror of Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighboring countries to the west.
As one of the poorest countries in the world, Chad struggles to meet the basic human needs of its own population, let alone the many battered people from beyond its borders. To make matters worse, Chad is in the Sahel region, which has suffered acute famine over the last few years, and declining oil prices have hit the regional economic outlook.