More than a million migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2015, with thousands dying in the attempt to cross by sea. EU development policy has swung into action, in an attempt to address the “root causes” of the movement of people. But this rapid reaction has led to some poor decisions, with the potential to waste a lot of money, and potentially cause serious harm.
CGD Policy Blogs
Not many development organizations can trace their roots to theoretical physics, but it was none other than Albert Einstein who suggested in 1933 that the European-based International Relief Association set up a US branch to help people suffering in Nazi Germany. That branch became the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and today the organization works in more than 40 countries responding to humanitarian crises.
Our migration team has kicked off a new research program on forced migration to better understand people’s motivation to flee their homes, and the implications this has for the legal migration framework. What space does the current system have to accommodate individuals who do not qualify for formal refugee status?
How can we do better for the 60 million displaced people around the world? That was the focus of a major CGD event featuring President Jim Kim of the World Bank and David Miliband. The lively conversation on refugees, displacement, and development covered many topics, including major changes in the humanitarian landscape. Three takeaways.
Refugees, Displacement and Development: What Should the World Do? – Podcast with Jim Yong Kim and David Miliband
More people are in need and for longer; that’s the global humanitarian crisis in a nutshell. Just before the World Humanitarian Summit, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim and the IRC's David Miliband discuss the blurring of the line between development and humanitarian response.
The evidence is compelling that countries benefit from immigration, particularly if immigrants are already well-educated, working-age adults, as is the case with most of the Syrians fleeing war at home. Still, there are real economic, security, and political costs of hosting refugees when, as with the Syrians, the arrivals are sudden and substantial. Given those costs, how should we think about the obligations of potential host countries?
The World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on May 23 and 24th is taking place amidst major shifts in the humanitarian landscape. The upcoming Summit will provide an important opportunity to discuss the significant financing gap and important issues like transparency and effectiveness. But it will be a missed opportunity unless leaders agree upon concrete plans to address the new realities of displacement. Here are three areas where we’d like to see some progress.
Although the real value of global aid has grown 9% in the last five years, all of that increase has been eaten up by the rising costs of humanitarian aid and refugees. Instead of condemning more and more people to a long-term future as aid-dependent refugees, what if we turned the support they would receive from donors over many years into an endowment that would enable them to start a new life in a new country?
With the World Humanitarian Summit looming, and in the absence of a unified global response to the Syrian refugee crisis, the head of the United Nations Development Programme Helen Clark says in a new CGD Podcast that governments and international institutions are shifting their focus from traditional humanitarian relief to more sustainable ways to help millions of displaced people.
In a letter to the Washington Post, Donald Trump makes the case for blocking remittances to force the Mexican government to pay for a wall between the two countries. According to the Post, “the core of Trump’s approach is a focus on the remittances of illegal immigrants, which he argues are crucial to Mexican economic stability and are a way of pressuring the country to disburse billions of dollars to the United States to fund construction of his wall.”
None of that would be good for migrants, their families back home, or for the United States.