1. Footprints in the dirt
It’s World Refugee Day. Once a year, we share the latest numbers to shine a light on the state of one of the world’s most pressing problems. And this year, that light is even farther from the end of an increasingly long, bleak tunnel. “65.6 million. That’s the number of people who were forcibly displaced from their homes in 2016, including refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), stateless persons, returnees, and asylum seekers … 22.5 million are refugees, 40.3 million are internally displaced persons, and 2.8 million are asylum seekers.” If those numbers don’t seem troubling enough, try this one on for size: 51 percent of all refugees in 2016 are children (and many of them are alone). From Vice, Put simply: There has never been a worse refugee crisis.
+ Economist Daily Chart: The number of forcibly displaced people grew to a record in 2016.
+ As you’d imagine, Syria and Afghanistan are the two countries that created the most refugees. We hear less about the third. Here’s Nick Turse in Harper’s: An ethnic-cleansing campaign by the government threatens to empty South Sudan: Ghost Nation. “Many had run with only the clothes they were wearing — threadbare dresses and long colorful skirts, blouses held together by safety pins, a soiled ted nugent: body count T-shirt, a pair of dress pants several sizes too big belted around a diminishing waist with twine, an aqua-blue sandal on one foot and a battered brown loafer on the other.”
+ Let’s end with some folks who are trying to make the situation better: “The intention is to really humanize the refugee issue and to say, let’s meet each other as neighbors. Let’s talk about ways that we’re similar rather than ways that we’re different.” From NPR: These Dinner Parties Serve Up A Simple Message: Refugees Welcome.