Why Focus On Refugee Aid?
Conflict, disaster and persecution force millions across the globe to flee their homeland and take shelter elsewhere as refugees. As per the United Nations, nearly 71 million across the globe were “forced from home by conflict and persecution at the end of 2018.” Among them, nearly 30 million were refugees while over half of them were under the age of 18.
“The world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record,” and the only way to tackle this emergency is to invest in the formulation of policies for the benefit and repatriation of the refugees. Needless to say, providing relief and aid to the displaced is of the utmost importance.
Besides relief and aid in the form of shelter, food and other essentials, organisations like the UNHCR (UN’s refugee agency) aim to provide the refugees with basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.
As per the United Nations, nearly 71 million across the globe were “forced from home by conflict and persecution at the end of 2018.”
REFUGEE AID AND THE UN SDGs
Refugee aid and relief feature in 7 of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid down by the United Nations.
UN SDGs that focus on refugee aid and relief include No Poverty (1), Zero Hunger (2), Good Health & Wellbeing (3), Quality Education (4), Gender Equality (5), Sustainable Cities and Communities (11), Peace Justice and Strong Institutions (16).
These goals also converge with Indonesia’s ‘Nine Aspirations’ or national development goals called Nawa Cita laid down by the Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
REFUGEE AID IN INDONESIA
As per 2017 UN estimates, Indonesia houses around 14,000 refugees from over 45 countries; nearly half of them hail from Afghanistan. The island nation witnessed an influx of refugees in the 2000s which gradually went down by the year 2008 only to pick up again in 2009. As of now, the UNHCR reports of stable numbers of refugees registering with it from Indonesia.
“Indonesia is impacted regularly by mixed population movements. After a lull during the late 1990s, the number of asylum-seekers arriving to Indonesia began to increase in late 2000, 2001 and 2002. Arrivals slowed down from 2003 to 2008 but again picked up in 2009. In 2016 and 2017 the number of persons registering with UNHCR has remained relatively stable,” the UNHCR states on its website.
REFUGEE AID & NAWA CITA
The Nawa Cita and SDGs originate from different perspectives yet they converge at some point.
“The Nawa Cita starts from President Joko Widodo’s vision of the nation’s sovereignty in political, economic, and cultural arenas, derived from an assessment that the nation suffers from three types of situations: (1) incapability to ensure the safety of all citizens, (2) poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, and natural resource over-exploitation, as well as (3) intolerance and crisis of national character. Meanwhile, the SDGs see poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation and natural resource over-exploitation as global issues that need to be tackled by all nations in the coming 15 years,” as mentioned in a 2015 UNDP report on the convergence between UN SDGs and Indonesia’s Nawa Cita.
To mitigate the number of homeless and displaced people across the globe, risk of disasters and natural calamities need to be assessed and relief work must be provided at war footing.
As mentioned in a UNHCR Indonesia report, finding an appropriate longer-term solution for each refugee is not easy but “a complex and often lengthy process”.
It “involves considering the particular circumstances of the individual or family and identifying solutions that match their particular needs”.
REFUGEE AID AND ARTEMIS IMPACT
Keeping the same in mind, at Artemis Impact we work relentlessly to bridge the gap between NGOs and organisations working towards refugee relief and aid in Indonesia and volunteers who would want to work in the refugee aid sector of Indonesia.