Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Migration’ Category

Central American collective migration has become something of an annual event around Easter week

NY Times

“……The migrants, most of them Hondurans, left the southern Mexican border city of Tapachula on March 25 and for days traveled north en masse — by foot, hitchhiking and on the tops of trains — as they fled violence and poverty in their homelands and sought a better life elsewhere.….”



The Greek island of Lesbos: Migration crisis

NY Times

“…..Some 5,500 people are detained in Moria, about 2,500 more than the camp was designed to hold……..

Rain soaks through the tents, and there is a lack of electricity and hot water in the showers, even in winter. The public toilets and showers are soiled with feces. As bad as the food is, it often runs out. The lines — for everything — are endless. Fights break out constantly. Violence, theft and rape are constant threats……”


Monsoon season: The world’s largest refugee camp, a temporary home to more than half a million Rohingyas that sprawls precariously across barren hills in southeastern Bangladesh may soon face landslides, flash floods, & inundation.

NY Times

About 90 people drowned this month when a boat smuggling migrants from Libya to Italy capsized and a majority appear to have been from Pakistan.

NY Times

“…..With legal options for migrant workers shrinking, the Libyan route to Europe has become popular. According to the International Organization for Migration, in January about 240 Pakistanis crossed into Italy from Libya, making them the third largest nationality represented. By comparison, only nine were reported in January 2017…….”


E.U.’s Migrant Crisis Reaches Brussels

NY Times

“…..Seeing unauthorized migration rise in Brussels last summer, the Belgian government ordered a series of heavy-handed raids on informal camps and homeless shelters. Those raids — along with falling temperatures — have largely succeeded in breaking up camps in public parks, and received wide popular support.

Even so, hundreds of Belgian families have reacted by inviting migrants into their homes. (Last month, the government proposed police raids on the houses of citizens suspected of sheltering unauthorized migrants.) Medical charities are providing food, clothes and assistance, and volunteers have set up shelters like the one where Mr. Khater sleeps, in a former office building. The total cost of sheltering one migrant is about 10 euros per night, organizers estimate…..”


Doctors Without Borders: ~10,000 homeless migrants in Italy are living in makeshift settlements, occupying abandoned buildings or out in the open while their asylum bids are being processed.

NY Times

Figures at a glance


90 migrants feared drowned off Libyan coast


UN Migration Agency



A Rohingya success story: “….After his rescue at sea and recovery in Sri Lanka, the International Organization for Migration helped Mr. Rafiq enter the United States and settle in New Hampshire. He heard that Dallas had a larger Rohingya community, so he moved there and began the paperwork to bring his family to America….”

NY Times

“…..Around age 10, Mr. Rafiq began traveling on foot to sell vegetables and cheap clothing in nearby villages. The police would beat and rob him, he said. He sometimes begged them to let him keep half his earnings, but such pleas were ignored; Mr. Rafiq said the beatings were often so severe that it was painful to walk home. He continued this work until he was about 30, when he had two children and a pregnant wife to support.

He decided to join other Rohingya men in an attempt to find work in a neighboring country. Nearly 100 of them crammed onto a boat in February 2008 and set out for what they expected to be a 12-day journey to Malaysia.

The engine died at sea. Thirst and hunger set in, killing more than a dozen men. Bodies eventually had to be thrown overboard because the smell was so horrible, Mr. Rafiq said.

Adrift at sea for four weeks, Mr. Rafiq was stripped of energy and could not move. He watched a friend pass out and die after he drank seawater…..”


“More than 1,300 asylum seekers have been dumped on Manus Island since the end of 2012 as part of Australia’s contentious policy to keep migrants from reaching its shores. They were all but forgotten until last month when Australia’s attempt to shut down the center and move the men to facilities near the island’s main town of Lorengau hit resistance. Hundreds of the men refused to leave…..”

NY Times

“……Veteran United Nations officials said this month they had never seen a wealthy democracy go to such extremes to punish asylum seekers and push them away.

Papua New Guinea officials and local leaders, enraged at how the camp’s closure was handled, have demanded to know why Australia is not doing more to help the men.

Instead, Australia is cutting services — reducing caseworkers and no longer providing medication, officials said, even though approximately 8 in 10 of the men suffer from anxiety disorders, depression and other issues largely caused by detention….”

More than 168,000 people have flown or sailed out of Puerto Rico to Florida since the hurricane.

NY Times



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