Monday, November 9, 2015

Civilian victims

Civilians are increasingly the victims of the more targeted wars of the last one hundred years. And now, NGOs which have offered help have been attacked, whether accidentally or on purpose (See recent blog Kunduz and; Now, MSF and the World Food Program have been kicked out of parts of eastern Ukraine ( More recently, another hospital in Yemen was hit (

These attacks, whether physical or simply ejecting NGOs serve to undermine the already weak infrastructure needed by civilians in order to survive. This compounds the attacks on civilians in many of the world's war zones, causing many to see few options but to flee their homes.

Syrian refugees and others fleeing North Africa are leaving in such numbers as haven't been seen since WWII. They suffer significant risk in trying to make the journey. Large numbers die in transit and may wash up on the beaches. A fellow student in an online class reported that she and her son were walking along the beach in Malta when they found the torso of a woman recently. She said that up to 150 bodies may wash ashore on a single day.

Top ten countries of origin (red) and asylum (green) of refugees worldwide at the end of 2014, according to UNHCR data (which exclude Palestinian refugees under UNRWA mandate).[32]
According to the UNHCR, the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide reached the highest level since World War II. At the end of 2014, 59.5 million people were refugees. ("The Global Refugee Crisis, Region by Region"The New York Times. 26 August 2015.) 

Resources of neighboring countries, and of countries more distant, are increasingly strained. Several European countries have tried to restrict the flow to their countries.

The scale of the refugee crisis adds to my concern for the future. I don't believe people flee their homes unless they see no other choices. Especially, taking the perilous routes that are the only ones available to them, and risking their lives and those of their children.

Despite having grown up during the Cold War, and experienced both sides of the Iron Curtain, I worry that the world is working its way up to another global conflagration. I hope and pray that is not the case, but...

1 comment:

  1. Fortunately, Merkel is continuing to advocate for the refugees (