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IN FOCUS akzente 4/1518 According to figures from the UN Refugee Agency (UN- HCR), there were almost 60 million people forcibly dis- placed at the end of 2014 – eight million more than a year earlier. Some of them – notably the Palestinians – have lived as refugees for generations. Others, such as Syrians and Ukrainians, have been displaced by new wars. Some conflicts have been simmering for years, with no prospect of a settlement any time soon. Congo, Su- dan, Somalia and Afghanistan are key examples: 2.5 mil- lion people from Sudan’s Darfur region have been forced to flee their homes and around 1.5 million Afghans have fled to Pakistan. The world is descending into chaos: 15 new wars and conflicts have broken out in the last five years. Poverty and migration: a cycle of devastation But it is not only warfare that drives people away from home. In Myanmar, members of the Rohingya Muslim minority are fleeing from systematic persecution. They too are setting out in unseaworthy boats and losing their lives to the waves, largely ignored by vessels from other nations. This year alone, thousands of Rohingyas from Myanmar and Bangladesh have set out across the Bay of Bengal in an attempt to reach Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand. Sometimes, droughts or other natural disasters cause poverty and hardship, forcing people to migrate, or sparking a war or conflict, which in turn triggers migra- tion. According to a study by climatologist Colin Kelley, the severe drought in northeast Syria from 2006 to 2009 – which was caused by climate change and poor water policies – led to the migration of 1.5 million people, mainly poor rural workers, into Syrian cities. This inten­ sified pressure on President Bashar al-Assad and possibly contributed to the uprising against him. The war raging in Syria, now in its fifth year, has up- rooted half the population. Eleven million Syrians have been forced out of their homes and about four million of them have fled abroad. This makes Syria the top source country of refugees at present. Meanwhile, neighbouring Turkey has become the world’s largest refugee-hosting country, with 1.6 million refugees, including more than one million Syrians, ac- cording to the latest figures from UNHCR. Turkey is fol- lowed by Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya and Chad – all of which have conflict regions on their borders. Not a single EU country appears in these statistics. On the contrary, most of the world’s refugees DISPLACED PERSONS ProjeCt: A new start for internally displaced people Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office Lead executing agency: Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations TERm: 2013 TO 2016 AFGHANISTAN There are hundreds of thousands of displaced persons in Afghanistan. This GIZ project is assisting the government in providing temporary shelters, a drinking water supply and community centres as the building blocks for a new life. 1 EXAMPLES OF WORK AT SPORT FOR REFUGEES ProjeCt: Football for vocational education Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Lead executing agency: Palestinian Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Education and Higher Education TERM: 2014 TO 2016 PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES GIZ is training trainers to work with young people in refugee camps through the medium of sport and encourage them to access vocational training opportunities. PHoto:GettyImages/Per-AndersPettersson(PAGE19)