Compelling news from the refugee and migrant sector
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Global refugee strategy needed

26 March 20240 comments

The world needs a “sustainable global strategy” for refugees which sees nations living up to their commitments, according to British MP and social justice advocate Sarah Champion.

Ms Champion, Chair of the United Kingdom’s International Development Committee (IDC), said the furniture was in place to see workable global arrangements to support displaced people.

“We have the frameworks and commitments that could form the backbone of a sustainable global strategy on refugees. What we need is for existing commitments and pledges to be fulfilled and upheld. We need new political resolve,” Ms Champion said.

“The Global Compact on Refugees is more acutely under strain now than at any other time in its history. Without a global consensus on how to provide consistent and reliable support to countries hosting displaced people, those people will have no safe refuge. The situation is simply untenable,” she said.

She was speaking as global funding for refugees has fallen below what people need, the numbers of those in need are growing more significant.

Ms Champion’s calls were simply a recommitment to old promises, she said.

The global number of refugees has doubled since 2016 due to new wars and crises and also to the failure to resolve old ones.

The IDC recently reported, 67 per cent of currently displaced people have been so for more than five years.

This is despite two international displacement initiatives: the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Grand Bargain.

In 2016, the world’s largest donors made an agreement to “close the humanitarian financing gap.”

The agreement was called the Grand Bargain. Similar to the GCR, the Bargain was a means to raise funds needed for humanitarian responses and deliver them with “enhanced efficiency, effectiveness, greater accountability and strengthened partnerships.

”The GCR and the Grand Bargain reflect that displacement is a prolonged, global problem that requires long, international cooperation. This is easy to say and harder to do. The GRC and Grand Bargain have struggled to sustain that prolonged global cooperation,” Ms Champion said.

In 2023 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) found that though seven in 10 refugees were legally allowed to work, five in 10 were working.

Also, around 80 per cent of refugees live in countries that make up just 19 per cent of the world’s income.

And although the Grand Bargain sought to give 25 per cent of global funds to local organisations, in 2022, only 1.2 per cent was. Available data shows that refugee-run organisations only received $US26.4 million in 2022.

Through the increasing strain of 2023, according to the IDC, “food rations for Congolese refugees in Burundi were halved.”

The IDC report also says that “as crises fall out of the headlines, however, donor funding tends to decline”.